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‘Spotlight’ Won the Oscar, But Can Investigative Journalism Survive In Today’s Media Environment?

The Oscar award-winning “Spotlight” captures the mix of frustration, joy, drudgery and thrill that goes into every great investigative story, reminding viewers of the power of investigative journalism to reveal the abuse of power in the public and private sectors. Could the Pulitzer-prize winning work of the Boston Globe be replicated today?

Senior Israeli Reporters Discuss the Need for a Free and Independent Press

Especially now, it is important to remember: There is no watchdog that is more important, that barks louder or is more effective at safeguarding Israeli democracy.


Is it Trump, Zuckerberg or Us - Whose Fault is Fake News?

"Weak media leads to fake news"

David Zeev (Reshet Bet) talks to Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, 

The panel: Is it Trump, Zuckerberg or US - Whose Fault is Fake News? was held at the Globes-Israel Business Conference in Jerusalem on January 11, 2018.


Press Freedom, Democracy Under Fire

While in Israel there is no formal constitution, freedom of expression is inherent in our Basic Laws. Yet a recent episode between the Israeli government and the foreign press placed Israel in a problematic light and was neither democratic nor right.


The Media and the Terrorism of Knives

Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler reminds us that the media is the cement that holds the stones of democracy together. As the arbiter of reality, the purpose of the media is to show us, the citizens, what is going on around us. To the same extent, it is also supposed to reflect our feelings and our level of trust in the decision-makers and representatives whom we elect to govern us.


The New Journalism: How Digital Media Changed the Rules

On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, IDI Research Fellow Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, head of Media Reform and Open Government Projects, chaired a session entitled “The New Journalism: How Digital Media Changed the Rules” at an international conference in Jerusalem. On this page, the session can be viewed in its entirety.


IDI: Advocates of Diversity and Transparency in the Media

In a fiery op-ed, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler responds to charges of bias and lays out IDI's pro-active agenda in favor of media diversity and transparency and its efforts to save the <em>Makor Rishon</em>  newspaper. 


Working the Net

In this article from The Seventh Eye, two journalists from  Globes explain discuss a new phenomenon: many journalists have abandoned reporting legwork and let their fingers do the walking, reproducing, sometime verbatim, anonymous content circulating on the web.


In Governments Run by Humans, Freedom of Information is Necessary to Prevent Corruption

What is the state of freedom of information in Israel? Like in the US, there is good and bad news.


Public trust in mass media - Breaking, turning and soaring?

Last year the Democracy Index pointed to an all-time low in public trust in the media. However, in 2017 it seems that the trend has reversed. Why?

Press Release

Protecting our Privacy

The Cambridge Analytica scandal raises troubling questions about the colossal amount of personal data now available online. Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler says that states must take more aggressive action to protect individual privacy and prevent private entities from hijacking elections.


A Sting in 68 Likes

When we use social networks, search engines or other online services on our computers or smartphones, we leave behind a long digital trail. The Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal should serve as a wake-up call to us all as to the implications.


Social Networks: The Tools of Tyrants and Democrats Alike

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler says rejoicing over the death of television and the birth of “intervision” is premature. This column was originally published by Times of Israel.


The Real Reason for the Turkish Coup’s Failure

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler argues that the main reason the coup in Turkey fizzled is not because of Erdogan’s FaceTime message, but because he had been anticipating this putsch for quite a few years and had arranged the entire legal apparatus that governs the relationship between the Turkish government and the media accordingly. 


The Prime Minister’s Digital Literacy

When a sizable portion of our decision-makers have that difficulty, and “digital illiteracy” becomes evident in the upper echelons where decisions are made, we’ve got a problem. This article was first published by The Jerusalem Post.


Blinded by Technology?

How long will we continue to recite the mantra that “technology cannot be stopped?” To what extent will we take a stand and cease to permit bad social engineering? This article was originally published by The Jerusalem Post.


10 Reasons Why Even People Who are Appalled by Israel Hayom Should Oppose Legislation against It

Hanoch Marmari, former editor of Haaretz and current editor of The Seventh Eye, an independent on-line journal dedicated to critique of the media, defends <em>Israel Hayom</em>'s right to exist as a free newspaper, notwithstanding his professional qualms about the quality of its journalism.

Policy Statement

Legal Opinion on the Israel Hayom Law

A summary of a legal opinion opposing the "Law for the Advancement and Protection of Print Journalism in Israel," which would prohibit the distribution of a full-sized daily newspaper in Israel free of charge.


Local Authorities: An Issue of National Importance

Who is addressing the problematic relationship between local and national government in Israel? Is anyone designing a a comprehensive reform program to solve some of the issues that are the result of a malfunctioning system of local governance? How, if at all, does the national media deal with this issue?


John Doe v. Jane Doe: Several Comments on the Privacy Revolution of Noam Solberg

IDI Researcher Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler analyzes a Supreme Court ruling that recalled a book and struck a balance between the right to privacy and the right to freedom of expression, and discusses larger questions of privacy in the digital age.


Thoughts on the Use of a Gag Order Following the Kidnapping

As Israel prays for the safe return of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler, head of IDI's Media Reform project, shares thoughts on the use of gag orders and military censorship in the digital age.


The Holyland Sentencing: A Faithful City?

In an article in <em>Makor Rishon</em>, Prof. Yedidia Stern describes his feelings of sadness, pride, apprehension, and hope upon the sentencing of Ehud Olmert to prison for his role in the Holyland affair.


Israel’s Most Effective Political Lobby: Right-wing Nationalists on Social Media

Elor Azaria’s case shows how online pressure by extremist voices can swiftly go viral in the Israeli mainstream, forcing politicians to choose: Play catch up or resist, but at great personal cost.

Policy Statement

Policy Statement: The 'Facebook Bill' (Hebrew)

Ahead of a recent discussion by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on the “Facebook Bill,” IDI’s Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler wrote a policy statement in which she called the bill non-applicable to the modern day. She said the bill is likely to cause disproportionate censorship through what will be dysfunctional legal proceedings.


Events in Jordan Prove the Power of Israel's Censor Has Grown

Israel's Military Censor, an institution that has no parallel in any other democracy in the world, must cease to exist.


Transparency in Local Authority Budgets

Dr. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler discusses the challenges to transparency in the budgets of Israel's local authorities, including the need to make budgets accessible, to enable searches within budgets, and to facilitate comparisons between the budgets of different authorities.


Ultra-Orthodox Integration: It Takes Two to Tango

In an op-ed in Ynet News, IDI researcher Dr. Haim Zicherman discusses the steps that Israeli society must take in order to enable ultra-Orthodox men to integrate into the Israeli army and workforce.


Is Israeli Society Frail Or Flourishing?

Is Israeli democracy weak, fragile and on the brink of collapse, or is it robust, stable and resilient?