“Report on Prince Hamza neighborhood in Jerash”: Personal opinions and judgments

Akeed – Rasha Salama

An article in a daily newspaper covering an infrastructure issue in the Prince Hamza neighborhood in Jerash committed a number of professional violations. The writer expressed his own opinion and, issued judgments and made generalizations when he said, “the residents of the Prince Hamza neighborhood” without clarifying their identities or what their complaint was about. He also failed to mention the sources of his information and figures such as the cost of the project, number of traffic accidents and other material.

The writer also quoted, without verifying, what he referred to as “residents” describing the road project as “destructive”. He also stated “The project, as far as they know, cost 350,000 dinars in total and work on it began in October 2018. The contractor ended the work at the location after settling with the Greater Municipality of Jerash which in turn will rebuild the street …". This information was published without checking with the concerned authorities in order to verify the accuracy of the information and figures.

Even when he asked the mayor of the Jerash to comment on the condition of the road, the information was brief and biased and the journalist followed up on the quote by writing “the mayor would only say that this would take place soon, a phrase that the residents keep hearing in every communication with the municipality but is never is fulfilled, until the publication of this report”.  

Here, Akeed reiterates the importance of impartiality by journalists who must refrain from inserting their impressions or personal views, and must provide clear sources for the information or reference studies and surveys. It is also important that the source of information is clearly and unambiguously defined. Additionally, a reporter must not generalize and should be balanced and unbiased by providing all sides to the story.