Jordan News Agency

The Jordan News Agency (In Arabic: وكالة الأنباء الأردنية) (Shortly Petra) is the news agency of Jordan.

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Jordan News Agency (PETRA)
وكالة الأنباء الأردنية
PETRA NEWS logo.jpg
Agency overview
Formed16 July 1969; 51 years ago (1969-07-16)
HeadquartersAmman Jordan
Employees260 (2010)
Minister responsible
  • Samih Maaita, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications
Agency executive
  • Faisal AlShboul, Director


Petra was established in 1969, as an independent body linked to the ministry of information.[1] It became an independent entity in June 2004, following the dissolution of the ministry of information. A special ordinance was enacted to give PETRA financial and administrative independence and to specify the powers of the agency's board and those of the director general. The new ordinance grants the agency the right to sell some of its services to willing subscribers. The ordinance defines services that could be sold as:

  • Items in the photos, news and documents archives
  • Special news services requested by local and foreign organizations
  • Services of the T.V. unit and leasing its equipments
  • Professional, media press and technical training
  • Special news bulletin
  • Advertisement on its website

Affiliation and correspondenceEdit

PETRA is an active member in the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA),[1] and the Non-Aligned Countries' News Agencies Pool.

The agency has correspondents in Cairo, Copenhagen, New York City, Tokyo, Bonn, Paris, Gaza, Ramallah, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Bahrain, Moscow, London, Kuwait, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing, Sana'a, Bucharest, Baghdad, Manama and Beirut.

Technical developmentEdit

Petra has come a long way since news bulletins were distributed internally through systems that feed communication lines and the mechanical Teleprinter, that later changed to computer sets, PETRA has now fully computerized news services.[2]

  • In 1976, PETRA started to transmit news on VHF short waves to the Arab world and Europe for 6 hours/day.
  • In 1992, PETRA computerized its press activities: reception and dispatching of news and archiving.
  • In 1994, PETRA developed its archive system by using an Oracle Database and high capacity storage equipment.
  • By virtue of an agreement signed with the UPI in 1995, PETRA started to transmit news through satellite that reaches all parts of the world.
  • In 1997, PETRA developed with UNESCO support an electronic photo archiving system that helped the agency to store more than 100,000 photos out of 500,000 photos it owns that depict some very important events in the history of Jordan and the region.
  • In 1998, PETRA got Internet connection; it launched its first website of news and photos. Frequent upgrades have been conducted on the website to cope with the latest information and technological developments.
  • In 1999, PETRA introduced a new version of its news system (nepras) to confront the Y2K threat. The new version integrated the data, photo and documents archiving systems.
  • In 2001, PETRA introduced a program enabling its journalists in local governorates and abroad to access the nepras system through the Internet. By virtue of this system, journalists can access nepras wherever they are, create their news reports and pass them to the editing page.
  • In 2004, PETRA developed programs that allow automatic upgrading of news and photos on its website. It also introduced an electronic monitoring system that records news bulletins, store them electronically and use them in Petra's bulletins.
  • PETRA is currently using an internal system linked to two servers working with Windows 2003 operating system.


  1. ^ a b "Country profile - Jordan". Journalism Network. Archived from the original on 12 January 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
  2. ^ Petra website

External linksEdit