Award winning Arab journalist Daoud Kuttab- with a group of independent media practitioners in Amman- launched the Arab world’s first Internet radio station. With funding from the Open Society Institute and UNESCO, the Director of UNESCO’s Amman office (Martin Hadlow) and Mayor of Amman (Nidal Al-Hadid), AmmanNet launched on November 15th, 2000.
AmmanNet began producing audio reports, news bulletins and a variety of programming all of which were posted on the Internet. Rebroadcasts of the programs (especially from nearby Palestinian stations) were pursued, so as to create a terrestrial home for all the audio content that was on the Internet. Large sectors of Jordanian society would have the opportunity to hear and follow radio programming created in their own country, but being broadcast with the help of the Internet.
A survey of the Jordanian public carried out by the Washington based NGO, IREX, in 2008 showed that AmmanNet was the number one independent news website in Jordan. As one of the oldest and most independent Jordanian news websites, AmmanNet has become the go-to site for serious and trustworthy information about the country.
The focus on local news has continued and AmmanNet created opportunities to display Jordan’s leading bloggers and pundits. A news ticker service is available to other websites and an SMS breaking news service is provided for a symbolic fee.
Four other specialized sites were born out of AmmanNet in 2009. Eyeonmediajo.net provides a critical view of media in Jordan. Shababjo.net is a site for young Jordanians and parliamentjo.net is the site where you can follow Jordan’s parliament and the activities of Jordan’s MPs. An English language translated site was launched in February 2010.