Bias against conservative media exists in Israel, too

Uproar after Israel’s Academy of Film and Television tries to exclude conservative media war reporters from prestigious award ceremony.

By Israel Today Staff | | Topics: Media Bias
Channel 14 is Israel's conservative religious mainstream media outlet, and is often shunned by hits secular liberal counterparts. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90
Channel 14 is Israel's conservative religious mainstream media outlet, and is often shunned by hits secular liberal counterparts. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90

Channel 14 is Israel’s only conservative religious mainstream television media outlet, sitting opposite three secular liberal competitors in channels 11, 12 and 13. The ratio would seem out of balance given that a firm majority of Israel’s Jewish population are conservative and religious.

This liberal media tilt is one of the cruxes of internal division in Israel, and was on full display this week when Israel’s Academy of Film and Television, which awards prestigious annual prizes for TV journalism, tried to exclude Channel 14 war correspondents from a list of those it was honoring for their dedicated coverage of the post-Oct. 7 conflict.

Israeli journalists have for months been putting their lives on the line in both northern and southern Israel, and the academy wanted to highlight this with a special award. But the initial list of nominees included only reporters from Israel’s Channel 11Channel 12 and Channel 13. This despite the fact that Channel 14 journalists Adir Lehakim and Ariel Idan had been some of the most daring mainstream reporters in their coverage of the war.

What makes the slight even more egregious is that Channel 14’s news programs consistently rate higher than those of Channel 11 and Channel 13. Only Channel 12 has more viewers.

In an angry tweet, Channel 13 reporter Almog Boker said that if Idan was not on the list of nominees, then he wanted his name removed.

“I saw with my own eyes how Ariel Idan came under fire more than once. Thank you, but no thanks,” tweeted Boker.

Lehakim and another Channel 14 correspondent, Atti Shalev, were both called up to fight as IDF reservists at the start of the war, and immediately upon their release went to reporting from the frontlines.

The academy on Monday responded to the uproar by promptly giving the special award to Ariel Idan, and attempted to deflect criticism by claiming it had invited Channel 14 to participate, but had received no reply.

With reporting by JNS.

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