From Sunday the 21st, until Thursday the 25th of July 2019, The French Media Cooperation Agency (CFI), with the support of EU-JDID, organised a week-long Political Journalism training course for local journalists and media professionals.

The course was delivered in the Jordan Media Institute by Randa Habib, a senior political journalism expert and targeted a group of journalists from various sub-fields (print media, TV, radio, among others). It covered a wide range of theoretical and practical tools, related to various aspects of political journalism.

Run for the 3rd time this year (8 weeklong sessions were also conducted in 2018) the training received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants. Dana Al Sharairah, a Journalism graduate from the University of Yarmouk, expressed her appreciation for the course's concept. “I was initially attracted to this programme because of its name: Political Journalism. In the four years I spent in college, I never came across this term," she explains, stressing that "I was not disappointed by this programme! I was really amazed because it introduced me to this very important and extremely relevant term.”

The specific and detailed topics discussed in this programme allowed the participants to learn things they were not familiar with before. When asked what motivated her to take part in such a programme, Ruqaya al Al Gallab, a freelance journalist in Jordan, agreed: “Through my experience in covering political and parliamentary issues as a journalist through a project funded by the NDI, I was motivated to learn more about this course and political journalism. It taught me a lot of things that I don’t know, such as how to deal with the social media side of political journalism and how to interview political figures properly.”

The richness and depth of the programme was upheld by Mrs Habib’s efforts to ensure that the participants greatly benefit from the training and leave with more confidence and determination than before.

“In the field of journalism, like in others, women face more challenges than men, especially in our society,” highlighted Ruqaya, who noted the need to "increase the amount as well as the depth and intensity of such programmes, because they act as support on more than just the intellectual level; they also act as moral support for all the young female journalists out there, especially when they see and learn from an inspiring female figure such as Randa Habib.”

In light of the political developments unfolding in the Kingdom comes a need for a high standard of political journalism. For Ryad Abu Zaideh, a journalist at the Jordan Media Agency, commented: “My job as a journalist is to work for both the politicians and the people. I make sure the politicians are heard and I also make sure the people have answers to their questions. This is why political journalism is important and this is also why such programmes are necessary in Jordan.”

This training is part of the EU Support to Democratic Institutions and Development (EU-JDID) programme's efforts to improve the quality of political news coverae in Jordan, through the strenghtening of journalists' capcities to carry out accurate and professional reporting. It seeks to reinforce the communication between members of the parliament and citizens, therefore strengthening the connection and interactions between public institutions and the electorate.