13.10.2016 - UNESCO Office in Amman

“A Right for Everyone: Access to Information in Jordan” short documentary film screened around Jordan

Amman, 11 October 2016 – On 28 September 2016, UNESCO Amman Office marked the first International Day for the Universal Access to Information by releasing an original short film on access to information in Jordan. Titled, “A Right for Everyone: Access to Information in Jordan,” the film explores freedom of information as it relates to a culture of free and independent media in Jordan.

The film highlights the principle that public bodies have a duty to share or provide ready access to information they hold, to anyone who wants it, based on the public’s right to be informed. The right to know is central for upholding other basic rights, for furthering transparency, justice and development. Hand-in-hand with the complementary notion of freedom of expression, it underpins democracy.

The film was produced under the framework of the EU funded and UNESCO implemented “Support to Media in Jordan” project, and in particular the project component on supporting an enabling legal environment and providing input into proposed amendments to the Access to Information (ATI) Law.

In addition to releasing the film online, it was shared 57 times on Facebook and several screenings and discussions were organized around Amman and Irbid. On 4 October, students and the faculty of Mass Communication at Yarmouk University hosted a screening and panel discussion. On the panel, the Dean of the Faculty of Mass Communication, Dr. Ali Nejadat, and Instructor Ali Al Zeinat were joined by UNESCO’s National Program Officer, Ms Ikhlas Aal Khawaldeh, to discuss the role of access to information in Jordan.

On 5 October, another screening was organized for Master’s students at Jordan Media Institute. Dr. Sakhr Khasawneh led students in an engaging presentation about the details of the ATI law and the procedures for submitting requests.

In addition, the short film was screened as part of the 2016 European Film Festival on 7 October at Rainbow Cinema in Amman, and will also be screened in Petra University later this fall.

“We are pleased to continue working on the issue of access to information, and this film has contributed to raising awareness about the right among not only key stakeholders but also the general public,” said Biljana Tatomir, Senior Project Officer on the “Support to Media in Jordan” project.

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