media and politics

Publications Regarding media and politics

Articles

Press Release

The Facebook Bill Must Be Amended so that it Can Serve Its Original Purpose

The Israel Democracy Institute applauds Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to reevaluate the Facebook Law which was initially formulated to help fight terrorism, but evolved into a draconian law that could set back the Start-Up Nation decades in terms of freedom of speech.

Op-ed

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.

Op-ed

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. 

Op-ed

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.

Op-ed

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.

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.

Article

An Uphill Start

In 2016, Israelis’ trust in the mass media reached an all-time low. But the decline seems to have bottomed out then; the increase in trust registered in 2017 has continued this year and reached 31%. This is still low as compared to many other institutions, but is all the same an improvement.

Op-ed

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?

Article

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.

Op-ed

The Trump Phenomenon: Israeli Politics in the 'Age of Me'

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump’s once unthinkable ascension became a reality earlier this month, following a largely drama-free roll call vote on the Republican National Convention floor. Trump is a prime example of a candidate whose vision and ideas are not a direct reflection of his party's values and policies, and who, in many ways, battled his way to the top of the party. His nomination is just one example of a current trend toward political personalization, a process in which the influence of individual leaders in the political process has increased, as the centrality of the political group declines.

Op-ed

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.

Op-ed

‘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?

Op-ed

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.

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.

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

In the lines below, 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.

IDI President Plesner Responds to Liberman's Rebuke of Army Radio

IDI President Plesner Responds to Liberman's Rebuke of Army Radio

Op-ed

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.

Play

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 Release

‘Zero Tolerance Approach to Terrorism’

IDI hosted an exclusive and high-level roundtable discussion on Facebook policies, Israel’s proposed Facebook Bill and freedom of expression. Simon Milner, Facebook policy director for the United Kingdom, Middle East and Africa, participated.

Press Release

The Israel Democracy Institute Ahead of Sunday’s Deliberations on the Amendment to the Bill on Public Broadcasting:

Ahead of the expected debate on the amendment to the public broadcasting law that is expected to take place on Sunday, IDI scholars resent a policy statement to legislators calling on them to stop this “unprofessional and shameful” legislative process and to enable the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation to go on air.

Op-ed

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.

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.

Op-ed

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. 

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Op-ed

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.

Press Release

Arabs & Jews Agree: Trump will be Friendly toward Israel

Latest Peace Index: despite UN Security Council Resolution 2334, majority of Jewish Israelis support continued building in the settlements; Israelis consider trial of Elor Azaria unfair; in 2017, all are optimistic 

Press Release

10 Past Ministers Come Out Against Changes to Public Broadcasting Law

Ministers say the current law, which separates public broadcasting from politics, is good and sound.

Press Release

In Advance of Knesset vote on Israel Broadcasting Corporation, IDI calls on Ministers and MKs:

In preparation for the Knesset vote on Tuesday on the fate of the Israel Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), leaders at the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) are calling on ministers to vote against the memorandum so as not to participate “in this campaign of revenge and inappropriate personal legislation.”

Op-ed

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.

Play
Op-ed

How Israel’s Leadership Betrayed Democracy

Despite the verdict, the real story in the Azaria affair is the moral, not the legal, issue, and this debate is alive and well.

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Press Release

Out of Sight: How Do Israeli Parties Perform on Social Networks?

Yesh Atid, Zionist Camp and Meretz have the strongest online presence, while the Joint List and Yisrael Beiteinu lag behind.

Op-ed

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.

Op-ed

A Red Alert for Israeli Democracy

In the midst of Operation Protective Edge, IDI President Yohanan Plesner warns of the dangers of racism, incitement, and stifling of free speech and asserts that it is essential to internalize a substantive democratic culture. 

Op-ed

Mourning for Gazan Children Isn't Left-Wing

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer discusses the High Court of Justice's decision to uphold the Israel Broadcasting Authority's rejection of an infomercial in which the names of Gazan children who were killed in Operation Protective Edge would have been read aloud.