Israel profile

Newspaper reader in Israel Israel has a variety of newspapers, many of which are available on the internet

Israel's press and broadcasters are many and varied, and account for differences in language, political viewpoint and religious outlook.

The Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), set up along the lines of the BBC, operates public radio and TV services and is funded mainly by licence fees on TV sets.

In March 2014, the government announced that the IBA would be shut down and replaced with a new structure for public broadcasting within a year. The broadcast license fee will also be eliminated. Critics warn that the changes will give the government too much control over public broadcasting.

Channel 2 and Israel 10 are the main commercial TV networks. Most Israeli households subscribe to cable or satellite packages. HOT cable and YES satellite TV are the main multichannel providers.

Commercial radio arrived in 1995, but faces competition from unlicensed radio stations, some of which carry ultra-Orthodox programming.

Israel has 13 daily newspapers and at least 90 weeklies. All titles are privately-owned.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (2012) says media freedom is "unequalled in the region". But it adds that this is tempered by "military censorship" and "numerous abuses" by the army against media workers in the Palestinian Territories.

Israel has a large IT industry and one of the world's most technologically-literate populations. Around 5.5 million people had internet access by 2013 (InternetWorldStats).

The press

Television

Radio

  • Israel Broadcasting Authority - operates public radios, including speech-based Reshet Aleph, news-based Reshet Bet, music-based Reshet Gimmel, Arabic-language Reshet Dalet
  • Galei Zahal - Israel Defence Forces (IDF) Radio, broadcasts news and music to mostly-civilian audience; also operates music and traffic news network Galgalatz

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