Guy Rolnik, Founder of TheMarker, Receives Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award

Deputy publisher of Haaretz group awarded journalism prize for 'making economic journalism a significant factor in social-economical discourse.'

Guy Rolnik, the founding editor of TheMarker website and financial daily and the deputy publisher of the Haaretz group, yesterday received a prestigious lifetime achievement award from the Tel Aviv municipality on Sunday.

Rolnik, 45, was awarded the 2013 Sokolow Prize for making economic journalism a significant factor in socioeconomic discourse.

The prize is named for Nahum Sokolow, a Zionist author, poet, translator and pioneer of Hebrew journalism. The award is given to journalists singling out investigative and in-depth features characterized by unique social significance and journalist excellence.

As editor in chief of the financial newspaper TheMarker, which he founded as a subsidiary of the Haaretz newspaper group, Rolnik untiringly shed light on problems in the structure of the Israeli economy, the judges commented in granting him the awar. Notably, Rolnik demonstrated the concentration of capital in the hands of a small number of financial organizations connected to the holders of political and governing power. He exposed grave flaws in the current structure and demanded they be corrected to ensure the existence of a more resilient, just and egalitarian economic system.

In his articles, reports and columns, Rolnik often elucidated and clarified complex financial issues for the general reading public, the judges wrote. He initiated investigative reporting into socio-economic issues and published articles that exposed the injustices caused by strong and well-connected organizations to the weak.

The impact of his writing was clear among the readership and the legislators, arousing much debate in Knesset committees, the judges wrote. As such it formed part of the wave of social protests and the demand for socio-economic change.

Neither Haaretz newspaper nor Rolnik, as editor of TheMarker, bent before threats of the powerful, nor did they bow before their advertisement boycott, and did not cease their work. In this they showed the important role of the financial press, which sees its mission as going beyond reporting and analysis, the judges wrote.

"In his writing and work as the editor of TheMarker, Rolnik proved that courageous journalism based on independent and unbiased thinking, in-depth investigation and financial knowledge can bring about change in society and the economy. In this he fortified the status and power of financial journalism, showing the potential it has to motivate reform and advance beneficial processes in the Israeli economy. As editor, Rolnik succeeded in imparting these values to the journalists working by his side," the judges wrote.

For his writing and activity, which has changed media writing on economy and society issues and influenced public awareness and the government's positions, the Judges Committee has decided to award the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality Sokolov Prize for lifetime achievement in the written press for 2013 to Rolnik.

Rolnik is among the best commentators on economic affairs in the Israeli press, if not the best, wrote media personality Yaron London in a recommendation letter to the prize jury. He has extensive knowledge of social and economic affairs and clear opinions on issues of corporate governance and the need to diversify control over the Israeli economy.

His writing, whose outlook he taught to the editors and writers of TheMarker, the newspaper he founded, had unprecedented influence over sentiment among the broad public and the establishment, London continued, adding, [F]or the first time in the history of the Israeli financial press, one newspaper headed by one person had enormous effect on economic policy and, more precisely, on the sentiment it takes to cause change.

Also receiving the prize this year are Calcalist reporter Shaul Amsterdamski, Channel 10 journalist Baruch Kra and television presenter Gal Gabai. Each recipient also receives 18,000 shekels.

Olivier Fitoussi