Raed Omari has been working as a journalist at The Jordan Times for the past seven years. However he is currently conflicted because he has been offered several jobs which pay better. But if he accepts one of the jobs he will have to leave the paper he loves understaffed.
Finding good staff is one of the major challenges at The Jordan Times. According to Omari, it’s not easy to find someone who speaks English and who wants to be a reporter. If they do, they tend to have weak journalistic skills.
Omari said he is doing five people’s job’s to keep the newspaper running, including translating, editing and news monitoring as well as reporting. He is passionate about working at the country’s only English language newspaper. ‘I love it so much, it fits me perfectly,’ he says.
Like most reporters, he is working six-day weeks and 12-hour days, and even on his day off he says he can’t escape the stress. ‘Journalism is inside me, I am always critical.’ Omari would like to one-day move out of print media and into television broadcasting however he is finding it hard to leave because of his personal attachment to The Jordan Times.
He would like to write more about the topics he’s interested in, such as art, nature and agriculture, “the things I would write about because I want to, not because I have to.”
Omari said The Jordan Times is different to other Arabic papers because it tends to be more newsy, there are things that are difficult to report on. He says some other papers write uncritically about the government, but “we write news,” he says.