Global Journalist
5:36 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Jordanian authorities block access to nearly 300 news sites

Jordanian journalists protest in front the House of Parliament, symbolically wearing tape over their mouths, as they protest over proposed changes to the anti-corruption law they believe will muzzle press freedoms, in Amman, Jordan.
Credit Mohammad Hannon / Associated Press

In Jordan this week, dozens of journalists demonstrated near the royal palace in Amman. They were protesting against the government’s decision to block access to about 300 of the country’s 400 local news websites.

Jordanian journalists are also using the courts to challenge the law, which was enacted last fall and enforced this month. And they’re finding creative ways to get around the online blockades.

The government says the new requirements are meant to professionalize and institutionalize online news sites that have proliferated in recent years. But free media advocates call this a blatant act of censorship designed to stop all criticism of King Abdullah.

To learn more, Global Journalist heard from the editor-in-chief of one of the blocked websites. Host David Reed also spoke to the Director of Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a freelance writer who recently wrote an analysis on Jordan’s move to block “unlicensed websites.”

Panelists:

Daoud Kuttab, founder, AmmanNet

Jillian C. York, Director of Freedom of Expression, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Rayna Stamboliyska, Research fellow at Paris Descartes University

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