This is a Chapter of the Study “How does the media on both sides of the Mediterranean report on migration?” carried out and prepared by the Ethical Journalism Network and commissioned in the framework of EUROMED Migration IV – a project, financed by the European Union and implemented by ICMPD. © European Union, 2017.
Lost Voices in a Land Built on Migration
Since its first days, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been a destination of choice for refugees and migrants. Within two years of Trans Jordan declaring independence in 1946, a large number of refugees flooded the tiny desert country east of the Jordan River. Over the years refugees and migrants would become part of this young Kingdom’s DNA.
This first batch of Palestinian refugees did little to change the landscape of media in Jordan. East Jerusalem was still in Arab hands and media outlets stayed in Palestine which, at the time, had a superior level of educated intellectuals, schools, colleges, and a decades-long tradition of newspapers, books, radio, film and cinema. However, the June 1967 war had a much more profound impact on the media scene in Jordan.
As the Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank fell into Israeli hands, newspapers and the once famous Ramallah Radio station were no longer able to work and press owners quickly moved to Jordan. While many of Jordan’s population were refugees of the 1948 and 1967 wars, most didn’t live in refugee camps and refused to take UN rations and other services. Many businessmen and intellectuals became involved in various media ventures.