EU, UNESCO, and Yarmouk University celebrate World Radio Day 2018

Irbid, 25 February 2018 – Today the European Union, UNESCO Amman Office and Yarmouk University celebrated the 7th annual World Radio Day 2018 at the Faculty of Mass Communication in Yarmouk University.

Under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Mohammad al Momani, Minister of State for Media Affairs, the event brought together over 200 guests for the official celebration focused on this year’s theme of “radio and sports”.

The event was supported by the EU funded projects, “Support to Media in Jordan” and “Networks of Mediterranean Youth” (NET MED-Youth).

In his opening remarks and on behalf of H.E. Minister of State for Media Affairs, the Director General of Petra News Agency, Mr. Faisal Al Shuboul, said that Yarmouk University is the ideal place to celebrate World Radio Day, with its esteemed faculty and media specialization, which is the University’s trademark.

During the event, Mr. Ibrahim Laafia, Head of Cooperation at the European Delegation, reiterated the EU’s continuous support in enhancing the media sector in Jordan. ”We value our partnership with the Government of Jordan and different community media stakeholders, and we look at the youth and media actors as partners for inclusive development and a vehicle for synergies among the government, civil society organizations, and local authorities,” Mr. Laafia added.

Mussab Al-Laham, Jordanian footballer for Al-Ramtha SC and the Jordan National Football team, Diana Khasawneh, West Asia champion in pole vaulting, and Batoul Aranaot, founder of BOOST initiative to support sports and athletes in underprivileged areas, participated in a lively panel discussion, which was moderated by Ro’ya TV presenter Nadeem Dawahreh. The panelists discussed the role sports broadcasting can play in supporting sports and players in Jordan, as well as how radio and media in general can help to challenge stereotypes and promote gender equality in sports coverage.

For decades, UNESCO has been working on sport initiatives for peace and development around the world. Through greater coverage of sports for peace and development initiatives, the universal values of non-violence, solidarity and tolerance are recognised and celebrated. In 2015, UNESCO supported the Global Media Monitoring Project report, which found that only 12% of sports stories are reported by women, and sport was found to be the single least likely topic to be presented by women out of more than fifty topics studied.

“We use the occasion of today’s panel discussion to look at the inseparable relationship between sports and gender, as well as how improved gender equality in sports broadcasting can lead to greater freedom of expression for all,” said Ms. Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan.

Dr. Ziad al Assad, acting president of Yarmouk University, expressed his gratitude to UNESCO and the EU, and noted that the bond with UNESCO extends to several decades of fruitful cooperation. “While we celebrate World Radio Day today, we must recognize the important role of Yarmouk FM in assisting the local community and presenting reliable news. This year is the 11th anniversary of the launch of the radio station,” Dr. Assad added.

Earlier this month, UNESCO Amman Office organized a weeklong training session for 10 Yarmouk FM volunteers – who participated in the panel discussion – on sports reporting. The volunteers were trained on radio broadcasting skills and gender representation in sports, and their reports were broadcast on Yarmouk FM.