Haaretz Publisher: Self-censorship Is Greatest Threat to Press Freedom

Amos Schocken tells conference sponsored by the French Embassy in Israel in cooperation with Haaretz that many journalists are concerned about alienating their readers.

Shani Litman
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Shani Litman

Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken warned Monday that self-censorship in the Israeli media poses the greatest threat to the freedom of the press. Speaking during a panel debate on press freedom as part of the Democracy and its Challenges conference sponsored by the French Embassy in Israel in cooperation with Haaretz, Schocken said that many journalists are hesitant to be too controversial, for fear of alienating their readers.

Amos SchockenCredit: Jini

Schocken cited his own experiences with Haaretz readers who were resentful of the coverage given to the Palestinians by reporters from his own newspaper.

Lets talk about a different kind of censorship, he said. Self-censorship that stems from the fact that the media does not want to upset its readership. I am referring to the responses that I get regarding Haaretz articles about the Palestinians situation.

"During periods of calm there are no responses, but in turbulent times people send emails to the newspaper, copying in all of their friends, that they are halting their subscription because they are unable to read Gideon Levy or Amira Hass anymore. And the newspaper must ask itself if it wants to absorb this.

It is no coincidence that in a country such as ours there are two or three journalists who see the subject of the Palestinians as their central focus, he continued. There are even journalists in Israel for whom it is possible to expect the subject of the Palestinians to be as important as sports, celebrities or film, and who are involved with this. And each time I see how Israeli society finds it difficult to accept this.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage