Training of gov’t spokespersons to take performance to ‘new level’

The training program aims to provide the media and the public with government information and provide rapid responses to events. (Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — The Jordan Media Institute (JMI) launched a training program for government spokespersons, starting with a series of workshops as part of a capacity building program that coincides with political and administrative reforms undertaken by the government and serving as a key component in upgrading and modernizing the government apparatus.اضافة اعلان

The training program, according to Minister of State for Media Affairs and government spokesperson Faisal Shboul, will help provide “rapid and direct response” to events taking place around the clock, and deliver to the media and to the public readily available information with the various government institutions. It also aims to curb false and incorrect news, hate speech and stop the violation of personal privacy, “all of which have become common practice in some news and social media platforms”, Shboul said at the opening of the program at JMI headquarters.

“This is a new phase in government PR performance, during which officials in charge of communicating messages to the public will be performing more professionally as they address reports, rumors, and fake news,” said Shboul.

Through a set of activities, using modern high tech equipment, provided by the UN Development Program (UNDP), government spokespersons will be trained on effective communication with the public, media strategy preparation, how to deliver a press conference and address broadcast outlets as well as crisis management.

The capacity building program is organized in partnership between the JMI and the UNDP with the participation of distinguished media professionals, politicians and communication experts.

Deputy UNDP Representative in Jordan Majeda Assaf said government spokespersons play an important role in delivering information to the public, “information that must be based on clear and accurate data and presented with full transparency.” She said the UNDP seeks to enhance “bridges of confidence between government and citizen, and to combat hate speech and extremism, stop rumors and the tendency to deny others’ achievements.”

JMI’s Dean Merna Abu Zeid stressed that the institute will field seasoned experts in the media from Jordan and abroad to provide the training, with focus on the aspect of crisis management and honing the skills of government PR officials to better communicate their respective agencies’ messages to the public.

Speaking to Jordan News on the sidelines of the event, Shboul underlined the “challenge” faced by government institutions of fake news and harmful rumors, saying “the training program will help the relevant people to respond swiftly to nip them in the bud.”

He acknowledged that the flow of information between officials and the media “is a very old issue”, stressing that professional and skillful journalists perform better when they are able to swiftly and accurately obtain the information they need to build their stories.

Read more National news