Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breaking News: Bloggers to get Israel GPO Press Credentials

NRG Reports (in Hebrew, this isn't in English anywhere yet):

Israel's Prime Minister's Office announces its intention to give accredited press credentials, issued by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO) to leading bloggers.

Press credentials entitle reporters (and now bloggers) to receive invitations to media events, as well as the ability to report on events without interference from the police and IDF.

Ron Dermer, special adviser to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would be conducting an investigation this year to determine the leading blogs and bloggers -- so that they can receive accreditation.

Unlike the USA, Israeli bloggers do not yet significantly make their mark on local opinion, but the Prime Minister's Office's announcement is tacit acknowledgment that Israel's bloggers are starting to influence the public via their reporting.

Ron Dermer: Kudos for taking my suggestion seriously!

hat-tip: AST.

Earn El Al tickets to Israel and other rewards with the HAS Advantage Credit Card!

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


realRightWinger said...

Good news - Fame at last. Hope this is the first of many good news messages of the new year.

Rafi G. said...

Great news. Netanyahu has always considered the influence of bloggers as being vastly more important than at the level they have been treated. That is why he invited a panel of us to cover his press conference in which he laid out his platform on education before the elections. I am still wondering when he is going to create the education roundtable he discussed, but that is neither here nor there.

It is nice to see Dermer did not just walk out of the conference and forget about it.He took the discussion seriously

Benji Lovitt said...

That is pretty amazing.


Safranit (Safra-knit) said...

Congrats! May you be one of the first..

Avicam said...

Of course, now the problem is the definition "leading bloggers". Bloggers of yesterday were blaming the main stream media about being elitists - now the "leading bloggers" will become the established elite with new bloggers having to fight to gain the acccess "leading bloggers" have. What good does this really do?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Avicam: I guess we'll have to help Ron Dermer stay honest -- the JBlogosphere is pretty open -- anyone can join.

Haveil Havalim shows that on a weekly basis.

Lurker said...

Jameel: Yasher koach.

I was skeptical when you made your suggestion to Dermer, but I see now that it is apparently bearing fruit.

Sam Sokol said...

It's true. As Jameel reported, Ron Dermer did in fact "promise" that he would initiate the process of giving bloggers press credentials. As a holder of a GPO card myself, I have some reservations. Certainly, serious bloggers like Jameel deserve access as journalists. However, by opening the field and allowing people who are not answerable to editors and fact-checkers [and yes, I know that most of the MSM are not very accurate regarding Israel] the Government Press Office creates two distinct and negative possibilities.

The first is that the GPO is too liberal with how it accredits bloggers, and pro-Arab groups like ISM and the Northern Islamic Movement will open blogs and sue for credentials if rejected. Thus, many propaganda outlets will gain recognition and legitimacy through the auspices of the government.

The second possibility is that the GPO will be selective in issuing press cards (as indicated by this NRG article במהלך השנה הקרובה מתכוון דרמר לעשות תחקיר מעמיק על בלוגים ובלוגרים מובילים, ולבחור מי הם אלו שיקבלו לראשונה תעודת עיתונאי.) This opens up the GPO to charges of bias and of trying to put in a fix on the news and will hurt the credibility of the bloggers receiving accreditation. Accredited bloggers will be accused of being tools of the PMO.

...and of course, a restrictive policy will lead to lawsuits by newly minted Arab bloggers that will eventually make their way to our activist supreme court. This will lead to the widespread issuance of GPO cards, thus hurting real journalists and respectable journalist bloggers like our friend Jameel.

I believe that Jameel and my fellow bloggers deserve press cards. I only pray that the government goes about securing them their rights as serious journalists in a thoughtful and responsible manner.

Maybe the government would be better off quietly issuing cards to some of the better bloggers, without making a big deal about it. Just a thought...

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hey - The PM's office made the announcement and it was picked up on NRG. Al I do is report the news :-)

OK, here's a question: If the GPO issues Press Cards to Al Jazeera, AFP, and Reuters -- all known to be great Zionists, what possible harm could there be in offering them to bloggers, regardless of who they are? Could anything be WORSE for Israel than Al Jazzeera?

However, I agree that there must be some minimum standard (just like not every journalist is entitled to press creds, there needs to be some vetting process for bloggers. We'll see how things progress.

In any event - I appreciate your thoughtful post on the subject!

Shana Tova!

DTC said...

So if Jameel gets a press card, can he use it to take his friends to baseball games and sit in the press box?
Oh, there are no baseball games anymore.
Never mind.


Elan said...

Guys, the NRG story is incorrect.

I have spoken with the PMO today and they refute the claim that any statement was made - they say that Maariv have mixed themselves up. Daniel Seaman, their director, told me that the latest to this particular story is from Sunday, when Dermer and Jameel had their chat. Since then no statements, official or otherwise, have been made.

So... bloggers are in the same position as they were on Sunday. Still, the idea is in review and maybe soon we will have confirmation that bloggers will get accreditation.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Elan: So I guess the real question is -- why do reporters from NRG have press credentials in the first place?

Food for thought -- if the MSM people cant get it straight, why not let the bloggers have a chance as well.

Avicam said...

Jameel- This does mean you will have to give up your anonymity, I'm sure they won't issues a press card for "Jameel A. Muqata" :)

And yes - there needs to be some sort of discussion about what standards to use when issuing press cards to bloggers. Traffic to blog?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Avicam: First of all - its Jameel Rashid! (The @ The Muqata is simply a byline).

I dont think every single blogger deserves a press card, just as every single journalist or newspaper doesn't get one.

Traffic to blog is difficult, since the current standards set by Danny Seaman are impossible for any blogger I know. The standards would have to be lowered -- yet there should be some minimum criteria.

Anonymity is an issue -- and I admit I havent thought it through to the end. I'm sure there can be doable options.

NormanF said...

Israel's government cannot count on the leftist press to cover it fairly. The downside is there is still no significant right-wing (and religious Zionist) Hebrew blogosphere presence.

That said, its a step in the right direction.

Avicam said...

Norman: Perhaps some English bloggers should collaborate on a Hebrew blogging site that will get things moving. One good one, low traffic, is latma ( which critiques the Hebrew press.

JobShuk isn't a news blog, but I would certainly be on board for a project like that.

Jack Steiner said...

It certainly presents a lot of food for thought.

OneTiredEma said...

Kol hakavod.

I think Dermer was open to the suggestion. I hope things come to fruition.

Shana tova!

Lion of Zion said...


Search the Muqata


Related Posts with Thumbnails