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Celebrating a milestone: Ten years for The Times of Israel

Some personal thoughts as we mark our first decade

This month marks ten years since we started The Times of Israel with a small team of talented, enterprising journalists. It's been an extraordinary decade of hard work and accomplishment, and I'd like to share some personal thoughts to mark the occasion.

In 2012, I sensed a clear gap in the middle ground for a quality English-language news outlet that reported Israel fairly and without partisan affiliation. We aimed to fill that gap, and called our venture The Times of Israel to underline that this is a Zionist journalistic enterprise – we believe in the State of Israel and we want it to thrive.

In order for Israel to thrive, it needs a free press that holds its leaders accountable and reports honestly – warts and all. Responsible, independent journalism reinforces the Jewish state’s democratic foundations. We strive for fair-minded, fact-based coverage, and we consider continual reader feedback that our coverage is "too conservative" or "too liberal" (we hear each about equally) a strong indication that we are doing a good job of striking the right balance.

Yehuda Avner z
Yehuda Avner z"l hammers in the mezuzah at our first office, February 2012 (Amanda Borschel Dan)

We began with a core team of outstanding reporters, assigned to essential beats including Diplomacy, Security, Politics, Diaspora affairs, Technology, Arab affairs and Culture, alongside a strong 24/7 news desk. We’ve expanded over the years – adding more editors and reporters, including Health, Environment and US affairs – to enable broader original coverage of Israel, the Jewish world and the region. We have also grown our reach to non-native English speakers, adding Hebrew, French, Arabic and Farsi editions. From the very start, our blogs platform has proved spectacularly vibrant and popular. More recently, we’ve expanded into editorial podcasts and video.

We have also invested heavily in our investigative journalism, notably in the sectors of financial crime, tackling some deeply unpleasant and dangerous fraudsters with vast trails of victims worldwide. This work is arduous and complex, and has yielded tangible results, including Knesset legislation designed to shut down at least some of the scams.

All news publishers in the internet age face a fierce challenge of attracting and maintaining readers and developing a business model that supports their work. Some choose to sensationalize their news coverage, knowing that this will result in more traffic – and therefore greater ad revenue. The Times of Israel does not do this. We’ve become the leading English publisher on Israel and the Jewish world, with an average of over 8 million monthly users and 40 million monthly page views, the responsible way: We report as accurately as we can, and when we get something wrong, we fix it.

We can’t thank you enough for your support and constructive feedback throughout The Times of Israel’s first decade.

I’ll end with a request. We have a strong commitment to keep The Times of Israel site open and free to all readers. We want everybody who cares about and wants to understand Israel, the region and the Jewish world to be able to read our journalism. So, unlike many news publishers today, no Times of Israel editorial content is placed behind a paywall. If The Times of Israel has become meaningful for you, I would ask you to please support our work by becoming a member of our reader support group, The Times of Israel Community. Your financial backing helps ensure that our journalism maintains the high standards we have set for ourselves, and enables us to do even better in the years to come.

Join the times of israel community

Thank you,

David Horovitz signature

David Horovitz
Editor, The Times of Israel

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