Per IDI Leader's Recommendation, Government to Form New IBA Council and Cease Plans to Outsource News
IDI Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler: 'The Israel Broadcasting Authority should be empowered to criticize the state, even though it is funded by it.'
During Sunday's discussion by the Economics Committee about the new Israel Broadcasting Authority, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, head of IDI's Media Reform Project, said:
"The delay in appointing members to the new public broadcasting council is tantamount to not abiding by the law. Only this council would have the authority by law to decide when the authority will be officially started and begin broadcasting. The time has come to put an end to the farce in which decisions are made but more and more dates are not kept. Until now, the process to establishment a new Israel Broadcasting Authority raises deep concern that the Communication's Ministry's outlook is unbridled and a council is required to be formed to intervene – not only in the case of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, but also with Army Radio and the Knesset Channel. This delay is intolerable. Further, the Israel Broadcasting Authority should be empowered to criticize the state, even though it is funded by it. This is the essence of public broadcasting and it is how the IBA will best serve the public's needs."
On Sunday, Altshuler's recommendation to require the government to assemble the council, even if it is not complete at the onset, became part of the legislation. In addition, the committee accepted her recommendation that broadcasting not be outsourced, and the paragraph referencing such a move was deleted.
Further discussion about the new Israel Broadcasting Authority will take place on Tuesday.