As many Israel-supporters lament the continued bias of the media against Israel year after year, reading this year’s much-acclaimed report “The State of the News Media 2013” by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism should offer many in the Pro-Israel community opportunity and hope. The shift in the rules of traditional media means that Israel supporters can reach influencers, opinion-makers and consumers directly easier than ever before.
As CEO of a PR Agency, the communications industry has been completely transformed in the last few years as we increasingly create our own content in order to break through the “traditional media walls.”
The same needs to be done for Israel – some of the highlights of relevance from this report on the media business:
- The U.S. has a “news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones, or to question information put into its hands.”
Worldwide it is more of the same. Media simply doesn’t have the time to cover deep and complex stories (like the Middle East.) If Israel wants to educate they need to do it through ways much different than in years past.
- There is “resource tightening that goes along with smaller budgets.” Less budget means content is affected and “the public is noticing an impact on the content—and is beginning to abandon certain news outlets. Nearly a third (31%) of U.S. adults have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to receiving.”
While Americans are deserting news outlets it means major opportunities for self-created content. Rather than getting bashed in the news, offer people the chance to judge for themselves. Why not distribute regular YouTube videos, or host more press briefings on Twitter or other digital media sources. Start-Up Nation can use these findings to adapt and do a better job on public relations.
- “Online was the only category of news that showed growth.”
Outlets like Times of Israel can see major growth – assuming there is investment in SEO, marketing and other things required to attract readers. In the world of online, major content providers have emerged over the last few years in spaces where they didn’t exist years ago (From The Huffington Post to TMZ). There is no reason in the Israel world that Pro-Israel publications couldn’t overtake traditionally Anti-Israel media.
Media will continue to further consolidate. Those of us who know and believe that Israel is indeed the good guy in the Middle East should do all we can to ensure that people read pro-Israel content as much as they can. Traditional media won’t get it – as the Pew Research Center’s report can be interpreted to mean.
Israel needs to use the change in media to her advantage.