Ronen Bergman on the Israeli Media

Question: How impactful is the media in the Middle East? Ronen Bergman:    I would differentiate Israel than other places. In Syria, Egypt and other places, the press is under control of the government and therefore not free, and therefore its ability to be aggressive and critical with the government is very, very limited. 

In Israel, I work for the largest Israeli daily.  During Friday, our Sunday, we have something like 80% of the readership, a million copies, which is, for a country of 7 million people, it’s quite a lot.  Basically, everybody reads this paper.  So, it’s quite effective in the sense that once you publish a big scoop, a big revelation, everybody knows about it.  Everybody reads.  Everybody saw at least the follow ups in the electronic media, and it has major effect. 

Though in some of the cases, because Israel is yet a very young country where its executive branch still don’t understand the real meaning of freedom of information, the real meaning of obeying the law, having obeying the chain of command and the hierarchy and basically understanding that the executive branch, the government offices and services and agencies, serve the public and not the other way around. 

Some of the revelation that they published about corruption in the government served me as a lesson to be [found] modest with my abilities and power and impact, because it was published.  Everybody knows that something horrendous is going on in Mossad or the government health office, or somewhere else, but nothing changed.  Because if someone like this would have been published in the United States, the person involved next day would be either fired or resigning and would be ashamed to show his face in the street.

In Israel, functioning in the state of war and still not grasping the real meaning of a democracy in that sense and obeying the law, still accept the fact that corrupted people are part of the government and in a sense diminished the power or the effect of the press.Recorded: Sep 19, 2008


Israel has a freer media than its neighbors, and 80% of citizens read the newspaper, yet Bergman says that true freedom of the press is not yet a government priority.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

People who engage in fat-shaming tend to score high in this personality trait

A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.

Mind & Brain
  • The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
  • The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
  • People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Keep reading Show less

4 anti-scientific beliefs and their damaging consequences

The rise of anti-scientific thinking and conspiracy is a concerning trend.

Moon Landing Apollo
  • Fifty years later after one of the greatest achievements of mankind, there's a growing number of moon landing deniers. They are part of a larger trend of anti-scientific thinking.
  • Climate change, anti-vaccination and other assorted conspiratorial mindsets are a detriment and show a tangible impediment to fostering real progress or societal change.
  • All of these separate anti-scientific beliefs share a troubling root of intellectual dishonesty and ignorance.
Keep reading Show less

Reigning in brutality - how one man's outrage led to the Red Cross and the Geneva Conventions

The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.

Napoleon III at the Battle of Solferino. Painting by Adolphe Yvon. 1861.
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
  • Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
  • Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
Keep reading Show less