- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27—AMMAN — The Social Security Corporation (SSC) approved a JD1 million as a loan to the financially troubled Ad-Dustour daily, where staff members have not received salaries for eight months in a row.

The decision, which was taken today, is a step in the right direction to save the daily, the country’s oldest newspaper established in 1967, but more is needed, Tareq Momani, president of the Jordan Press Association (JPA), told The Jordan Times Monday.

“The fund will be considered as a part of plan to increase the company’s capital in the future,” Momani, who is also head of a committee formed to address the situation of the newspaper that also proposed extending the JD1 million as a start.

Momani said the volume will be mostly used to conduct maintenance for the newspaper’s printing press and to pay part of the salaries, adding that the SSC’s step should be followed by more actions.

The state-owned Social Security Investment Fund owns nearly 30 per cent of the Jordan Press and Publishing Company, which publishes Ad-Dustour, while the Jordan Engineers Association owns 18 per cent and the newspaper’s employee fund owns 5 per cent. Other shares are owned by private shareholders.

The decision comes a few days before an August 2 deadline set by the newspapers’ staff who recently issued a statement saying they will start a series of escalatory measures if the government does not take measures to address the financial crisis at the country’s oldest newspaper.

“This is a step in the right direction. But it is not enough. There is a need for also appointing a director general for the newspaper and a board to solve the crisis once and for all. It is very important to come up with a plan to enhance the performance and the product of the newspaper,” said Momani, commending the decision.

Awni Daoud, managing editor of Ad-Dustour’s economic section, said the decision revives hope and should prompt all stakeholders and staff at the newspaper to increase their productivity to restore the “glory” of the daily.

“It is a good initial step. This is the beginning of steps that should be taken to salvage Ad-Dustour. The bulk of the money will be used to reactivate the production lines at the printing press, which is the lifeline of the newspaper,” said Daoud.

“More efforts should be taken and we should not stop here,” said Daoud.

The daily witnessed the layoff and voluntary resignation of scores of staff members over the past few months, amidst the ongoing financial crisis and a series of protests.

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(c)2015 the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan)

Visit the Jordan Times (Amman, Jordan) at www.jordantimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Topics: t000002537,t000040350,t000002669,t000033770

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