Israel anti-Adelson law and other issues

IsraelHayom2009The discussion about the position of free Israeli newspaper Israel Today drags on. Some members of the Knesset are proposing a bill to ban foreign ownership of newspapers, a law mainly targeted at US-citizen Sheldon Adelson’s ownership of Israel Today, or rather against its political content, the support of Bibi Netanyahu (see previous post).

In an excellent background story in Forward, Adelson denies these accusations:

“I started the newspaper to give Israel, Israelis, a fair and balanced view of the news and the views. That’s all. It is not a ‘Bibiton.’”

In newspapers, the main supporter of the bill is Maariv, a paper losing lots of money, and two years ago almost acquired by Adelson (see previous post). Together with Yediot Achronot, Maariv hired a lobbyist, Keren Barak, to convince Knesset members of the proposed bill. (Israel National News)

The largest paid Hebrew newspaper, Yediot Achronot, is affected also in an indirect way. Because of the growth of Israel Today (27% reach in the first half of 2009, against 34% for Yediot, 14% for Maariv and 8% for Haaretz), Yediot is no longer considered to be a newspaper monopoly in Israel (Globes).

Between Maariv and Haaretz another feud broke out when Maariv wrote about the weak financial position of its competitor. Haaretz complained with the Israel Securities Authority, accusing Maariv of slander and bias in articles (Globes).

Haaretz, however, profits from Israel Today as it is printed on the Haaretz printing presses.

One Response to “Israel anti-Adelson law and other issues”

  1. Monday Edition 1/18/10 « Coney Media Says:

    [...] Achronot, are taking a hit because the freebee Israel Today has grabbed 27 percent of the market, according to Newspaper Innovation. Now there’s an action in the Knesset to ban foreign ownership of newspaper (Israel Today is [...]