| May 25, 2007|
| multimedia web publication|
Ramsey George, Lina Ejeilat, Naseem Tarawnah
7iber (Arabic: حبر) is a multimedia organization that engages in multimedia journalism in order to inform, engage, and inspire. It is pronounced "Hiber" with the 7 standing in for the "haa" sound in Arabic, and means "ink."
7iber is an online publication that seeks to inform, inspire, and engage communities to foster a more open society. 7iber works in three areas: 1) creating original informative multimedia content and providing a platform for critical conversation, 2) conducting research on Internet governance and digital rights, and 3) operating a co-working office, and an events space, including a cafe. 7iber also conducts training on topics related to digital media. They stand for universal human rights, freedom of expression and access to information. They believe that people and communities should have the freedom to craft and share their own narratives. 7iber began in 2007 as a citizen media platform with the initial costs of the website covered by its founding members.
Since 2009, 7iber has grown into a media organization that is a registered LLC in Jordan, and financed through grants and media projects. While 7iber is based in Jordan, their content is increasingly covering more and more geographic and intellectual areas.
On July 1, 2013, 7iber.com was blocked by the Jordanian government during a crackdown on online media. The block came after a public debate over the Press and Publication Law where Fayez Shawabkeh, the director of the government’s Press and Publication Department, was asked why the website was not blocked previously. Shawabkeh said, “If I find it's a news website, I will block it,” and later added, “if it's a blog, the law does not apply to it." The Jordanian government determined that 7iber is a website rather than a blog, and blocked access to the site until 7iber registers as a news agency.
7iber’s administration says they were informed of the ban through a memo sent by the Press and Publication Department to Telecom Regulatory Commission, which is against regulations. “If the Press and Publication Department decided that 7iber.com needs a license, which is against all their public statements about blogs, they are supposed to officially inform us of this decision and give us 90 days before blocking the website,” 7iber added in an official statement. They also said that the law in question is a tool used to arbitrarily stifle freedom of expression.
In order to register as a news agency, 7iber would have to have an editor in chief that has been a member of the Jordan Press Association (JPA) for at least 4 years, but membership in the JPA is not given to journalists who work in online media.
7iber was recently blocked again in August 2014. They have produced multimedia content that explains the amendments to the Press and Publications law, in addition to two materials explaining book censorship, here and here. Also, they produced infographics, such as one about the Legislative Limits on Freedom of Expression in Jordan.
7iber has also developed multimedia concepts. Examples include a story about Syrian refugees in Mafraq. This story was also translated into English.