In unprecedented twist, Al Rai runs anti-gov’t articles

Al Rai, Jordan’s leading Arabic daily, took an unprecedented twist in its editorial line on Tuesday, publishing articles critical of the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour43243cbd0c9a5f3d3ef63f7620014d72c3468b23.

The usually pro-government newspaper, published by the Jordan Press Foundation (JPF), rarely criticises state policies. The shift in reporting follows two days of boycotting government news over what the editorial team calls the “negative response” of decision makers towards key issues threatening the financial stability of the foundation.

The state-owned Social Security Investment Fund (SSIF) owns around 55 per cent of the shares of the foundation, which also publishes The Jordan Times.

The dispute with the government emerged as the Arabic daily’s employees accuse some SSIF-appointed board members of preparing a restructuring plan while failing to address the continuous fall in revenues, mainly generated from advertisements.

They accuse the board of failing to find a solution for the commercial printing press on the airport road, which cost over JD35 million, saying that it has drained the finances of the JPF with millions of dinars pumped into the project every year.

The employees want the printing press to be transformed into an independent company and sold to the Social Security Corporation, which they accuse of starting the project in order to help the JPF return to profitability.

They also want board members Abdul Hafiz Ajlouni, Mansour Nabulsi, Mohammad Tarawneh and MP Abdul Rahim Biqaei to be replaced.

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