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Israeli Press Institute launched to promote critical media consumption, press freedom

President Reuven Rivlin (second left) hosting the launch of the Israeli Press Institute at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, February 7, 2021. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin (second left) hosting the launch of the Israeli Press Institute at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, February 7, 2021. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

President Reuven Rivlin hosts the launch of the Israeli Press Institute, which according to a statement from the President’s Residence will “work to strengthen press freedom and to restore public confidence in the press, focusing on educating children and young people in critical consumption of the media and raising awareness of the importance of freedom of expression and freedom of the press.”

“The role of the institute will be, first and foremost, to redefine the blurred borders between political propaganda, marketing content and serious journalism,” says Rivlin. “To remind us all that the media… is a uniquely important part of the democratic apparatus whose task it is to criticize and investigate, without fear or favor, and to whom the principle of separation of powers must also apply.”

“Journalistic ethics are not a recommendation, but rather a decisive issue of conscience and professionalism,” he tells the members of the new body. “You will need to clarify what the role of the state is and what is its area of responsibility when distinguishing between factual reporting and fake news, between legitimate expressions and dangerous incitement.”

President Reuven Rivlin (R) hosting the launch of the Israeli Press Institute at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, February 7, 2021. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

The president of the new body, former Supreme Court justice Dalia Dorner, says: “In recent years, we have seen the deterioration of public trust in the media. This trend is very dangerous for democracy, whose strength relies largely on a strong and trustworthy press and on a public consensus regarding the crucial value of the freedom of the press. I have met many young people in recent years, and many of them receive most of their information from social networks. I came to the conclusion that in order to restore public confidence in the press, and particularly among young people, we must work on media literacy, which is not currently taught in the formal education system. I worked to create the Israeli Press Institute primarily to fill that gap.”

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