Haaretz Journalist Ehud Asheri Dies of Cancer at 57

Asheri was a Haaretz staff member since 1996 and edited Haaretz Magazine between 1997-2004.

Journalist Ehud (Udi) Asheri died of cancer on Monday, at the age of 57.

Asheri, who was the editor of Haaretz Magazine for seven years and the newspaper's television critic, has been a journalist and editor for more than 30 years.

His funeral will be held at 1:30 P.M. Tuesday at the Yarkon cemetery, Geulim gate.

Asheri was born in 1951 in Jerusalem and studied in the Hebrew Gymnasium (secondary school) in Jerusalem. He served in the Golani Brigade and after his discharge from the Israel Defense Forces studied sociology and international relations at Hebrew University in Jerusalem; he later got a master's degree in mass communication at Hebrew University.

His first job as a journalist was editor of Hebrew University's student paper Pi Ha'aton. Afterward he served as news editor in Israel Radio and sports reporter in Israel Television.

In the early 1980s Asheri went to the United States to get a master's degree in sociology at the University of San Diego. When he returned to Israel, he began working in the weekly Kol Ha'ir in Jerusalem, first as deputy editor and later as editor. Later he was appointed editor of the Hadashot newspaper's weekly magazine and remained in this post until the newspaper's demise at the end of 1993. As Hadashot editor, Asheri initiated the popular gossip column "Zippora."

After Hadashot closed down, Asheri was appointed deputy editor of the Tel Aviv weekly newspaper Ha'ir and later moved to Haaretz as media commentator. In 1997, he became editor of the newspaper's weekly magazine together with Avner Avrahami. From 2000 to 2004, he ran the magazine by himself. After retiring from the magazine, Asheri became Haaretz's television critic and wrote a weekly column and opinion pieces.

Asheri continued working after he became ill. His last essay, about the media uproar following the interview that Winograd Committee member professor Yehezkel Dror gave Ma'ariv, was published less than a month ago, on February 8.

"If there's such a term as 'journalistic prowess,'" Haaretz editor David Landau said Monday, "then it was fully realized in Udi Asheri these past few months. The mental powers that this gifted writer and author displayed during his illness set and will set us a subline model of supreme professional devotion."

"Udi was unpredictable and never toed the line," Landau said. "Every essay of his and every position were always original. He was a first-rate social critic. His departure leaves an empty void in Haaretz and in his colleagues' hearts."