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Media Profiles

Profiles of journalists in the Middle east

Abdullatif Najem - Jordan Media Institute

Stefania Di Paola

Abdullatif Najim. Photograpgh by Stefania Di Paola

Abdullatif Najim. Photograpgh by Stefania Di Paola

‘Akeed’ is an Arabic word that means ‘for sure.’ It is also the name of a project that monitors misreporting in Jordan.

The Jordan Media Institute (JMI) has been keeping track of media falsehoods, or “fabrications” for over a year.

In February alone, the project monitored and reported 820 rumours spreading across social media.

Abdullatif Najem, the website’s administrator and editor at JMI, says the project’s main objective is “to hold the media responsible and accountable”.

“This helps journalists understand the value of sticking to the standards, which elevates the profession to a higher level.

“It also teaches journalists to not just break the story. You have to check the facts first.”

Najem wants the project to be a tool that prevents journalists from falling into the trap of reporting misinformation.

The other objective is to alert the people to be more aware and sceptical of what they are republishing on social media.

Najem says “fabrication stories happen every day.”

“You don’t see them in mainstream media. (They are) mainly on websites because there is not enough monitoring.”

Those behind the fabricated news websites are professional journalists, who publish online and on social media.

The aim of these journalists is to draw readers to the fabricated websites with headlines that appear newsworthy to get a lot of hits, promote themselves and attract advertisers.

Stories range from politics and war to the absurd, and as soon as the project reports on these fabrications, the journalists delete them immediately.

“A lot of these websites have been mushrooming throughout the past few years, there are so many of them and they are not being held responsible for what they do”.

The project team includes Najem and four other journalists, and will be extending the monitoring to broadcasting television stations in the near future.