Imbalance and issuing judgments on the morning program of a local radio

Akeed - A local radio station committed several professional violations during its morning program, which involved imbalanced news coverage, declaration of judgment, and faulty generalization.

During the three-hour morning program episode on May 12 that Akeed reviewed, the show’s host issued judgments on absent parties, issues unjust generalization, and alleged that official procedures were being implemented at random.

Akeed notes that during the host’s speech, he issued a judgment against traffic officers, when three minutes and 50 seconds into the first hour of the show, he stated that “traffic officers love issuing traffic violation tickets”. Later, five minutes and 27 seconds into the show, he issued a generalization, saying that a COVID-19 patient “brought a feast for all of Jordan”, whereas in minute 11, he issued another judgment, saying that “the government is conducting ad hoc experiments”, referring to its coronavirus response.

Media advisor and trainer Jawad al-Omari, said to Akeed: “Objectivity and neutrality are among the most important media standards”, meaning that the views of all concerned parties in an issue must be presented, and the presenter or journalist should not set to support or adopt one particular opinion.

Omari noted that if any concerned party is absent, the presenter must present their opinion impartially, relying on any previous opinion, justification, or statement made by them. In fact, the presenter must act as a lawyer on behalf of the absent party.

He added that the journalist’s opinion or position should not be presented in a piece that is presented to the public, because doing so puts the journalist’s objectivity under question, and pushes the public towards their opinion. The main role of the journalist or presenter is to present objective facts that help viewers or readers to form their own opinion, according to Omari.

The media advisor noted that journalists and presenters often use generalizations, which is becoming a common violation among them. Whether these transgressions are intentional or not, he said, their damage is the same, adding that when media professionals resort to sensationalism or exaggeration, it is no different from simplifying or ignoring serious issues and larger matters, all of which gives a distorted picture of the truth.

Akeed affirms the importance of media outlets abiding by the professional and legal standards that govern this type of coverage, including: professionalism, balance, and refraining from issuing judgments.