December 24, 2015

MEDIA COMMENT: Silencing the truth-sayers

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:43 pm by yisraelmedad

MEDIA COMMENT: Silencing the truth-sayers
In 2010 the Zionist-oriented Im Tirtzu organization mounted an attack on the New Israel Fund, portraying a horned Naomi Chazan, then president of the NIF.

The attack drew responses such as “right-wing hooligans” with a “potential for murderous violence” attempting to “quell dissenting voices in Israeli society.” True to form, last week’s Im Tirtzu’s “Foreign Agents” video clip which dealt with the virulent anti-IDF Breaking The Silence (BTS) NGO again generated a media storm.

Just like five years ago, the Im Tirtzu campaign was not only reported on by Israel’s media but actively engaged with by it, with the media providing its judgment of Im Tirtzu’s actions.

An extreme example was Haaretz correspondent Chemi Shalev’s “Im Tirtzu and the Proto-fascist Plot to Destroy Israeli Democracy” column of December 16. The video, he wrote, was “a symptom of a rapidly spreading, potentially terminal disease.”

Calm and rational discourse was a rare media commodity this past week.

HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual demanded the opening of a criminal investigation against Im Tirtzu for incitement to murder. Hagai El-Ad, B’tselem’s director, told the UK Telegraph that the government was behind the extra-parliamentary group’s clip and was quoted saying that “the voice is Im Tirtzu but the hands are of the government.”

Israel’s biased media is then reflected also in the foreign media.

The AP’s December 20 headline “Dovish Israeli groups say they face harsh crackdown” was followed by the explanation: “hard-line Israeli politicians and activists” are accused “of a nationalist witch hunt that risks turning violent.”


Read more…


December 17, 2015

MEDIA COMMENT: When the media engages in self-censorship

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:03 pm by yisraelmedad

Media Comment: When the media engages in self-censorship
There lurks, even in the media, the “watchdog of democracy,” factors that will prevent a story from appearing or will provide it a special spin.
Balancing journalism’s twin goals of telling the public what it wants to know and what it needs to know is not only an ethical matter for journalists but a very real concern for the media consumers.

There is, though, another issue: when the media selects, under pressure or out of free choice, not to tell its reading and listening public what it should know. We have pointed out many times in our columns that the most powerful media influence lies in what is not revealed to its consumers.

Any university journalism course will teach that there are two forms of media censorship in the media: censorship and self-censorship. As one online article explains: “Censorship occurs when a state, political, religious or private party prohibits information from reaching citizens. Self-censorship occurs when journalists themselves prevent the publication of information… because they are fearful of what could happen if they publish certain information – they are fearful of injury to themselves or their families, fearful of a lawsuit or other economic consequence.”

A case could be that the newspaper’s owner is being investigated by authorities for corruption and bribery.

Another is that a major advertiser is suspected of corrupt employment practices or, worse, polluting a major water source.


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December 9, 2015

MEDIA COMMENT: The media and Yossi Sarid

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:52 pm by yisraelmedad

Media Comment: The media and Yossi Sarid


From the reporters to the analysts and the editors who assured his media presence, Sarid was a source of self-confidence.
The late Yossi Sarid was a media icon for two reasons.

First, he was a media figure himself, having completed his army service as a correspondent for BaMachaneh Gadna and then the Histadrut’s daily, Davar, as well as broadcasting over Kol Yisrael and Galei Tzahal. He later became the spokesperson for the Mapai Party and prime minister Levi Eshkol, and was very successful in those positions. Second, he provided media personnel, the majority of whom were cut from the same ideological cloth, with a near-worshipful figure whose ideas, language and performance made them comfortable in their profession and even provided them with a purpose in their media activity.

From the reporters to the analysts and the editors who assured his media presence, he was a source of self-confidence.

Some of these people climbed the professional ladder and are today in the most central positions of media power. Sarid was one of them. He provided support for their core beliefs and they provided him with air-time and coverage that drove him to the top.

An insight into this relationship is given by the words of Arieh Golan, the Kol Yisrael stalwart who dominates the early morning airwaves as host of the two-hour Boker Tov (Good Morning) interview and news digest radio program. A seemingly unrelated issue – the demand of the IBA’s deputy director Ronit Braun-Kennis that even senior correspondents and program hosts clock in and out and obtain permission for work on Shabbat – bestirred Golan deeply. He was quoted by Haaretz’s Itai Stern Monday as saying: “Enough of this harassment…what does Braun-Kennis know of journalism work…let her come and open a broadcast on the weekend [he did not use the term Shabbat] in order to report on the death of Yossi Sarid.”

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December 2, 2015

MEDIA COMMENT: Enemy-supporting journalism

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:25 pm by yisraelmedad

Media Comment: Enemy-supporting journalism
Persistent reading reveals the pervasiveness of the paper’s editorial line, which makes its way into every possible section.
American actress and comedian Roseanne Barr apparently reads the English-language edition of Haaretz and as a result, exploded against Rogel Alpher, a columnist and blogger at the paper, on November 23. She became a media critic after reading his piece calling upon the Jews of France not to make aliya but rather to stay in France.

He added, as this paper reported: “Don’t flee Muslim fascism into the arms of Jewish fascism. Nothing for you in Israel… To emigrate from France to Israel now is like emigrating from Palestine to Nazi Germany in 1933… Israel has stopped being the Jewish state. It is a bi-national apartheid state…

The Zionist enterprise is dead. Committed suicide.”

Barr’s answer to Alpher was a very blunt and insulting tweet: “Stfu [shut the f*** up] privileged fat skinhead.”

Alpher’s reaction was, “she’s been for several years already very much psycho.”

Read more here.