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Mass Communication in Israel

Mass Communication in Israel: Nationalism, Globalization, and Segmentation

Oren Soffer
Translated by Judith Yalon
Copyright Date: 2015
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 238
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  • Book Info
    Mass Communication in Israel
    Book Description:

    Mass communication has long been recognized as an important contributor to national identity and nation building. This book examines the relationship between media and nationalism in Israel, arguing that, in comparison to other countries, the Israeli case is unique. It explores the roots and evolution of newspapers, journalism, radio, television, and the debut of the Internet on both the cultural and the institutional levels, and examines milestones in the socio-political development of Hebrew and Israeli mass communication. In evaluating the technological changes in the media, the book shows how such shifts contribute to segmentation and fragmentation in the age of globalization.

    eISBN: 978-1-78238-452-6
    Subjects: Sociology, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
    Oren Soffer
  4. INTRODUCTION. Mass Communication: Nationalism, Globalization, and Social Fragmentation
    (pp. 1-16)

    Modern Jewish nationalism was born in the age of printed mass media—more specifically, the age of newspapers. In fact, the publishing of Hebrew-language newspapers pre-dated the advent of Zionism. In the mid-nineteenth century, these newspapers, which were published in Eretz Yisrael but also elsewhere (mainly in Eastern Europe), became a sort of communications network or printed-word public sphere (Penslar 2000: 7). This network connected Jewish communities that were not only geographically remote from one another but also, quite frequently, culturally and linguistically remote (Frankel 2000: 45). Jewish—and later Zionist—leaders, of whom some of the most prominent (such...

  5. CHAPTER 1 The Evolution of the Hebrew and Israeli Press
    (pp. 17-74)

    In the introduction of this book, I referred to the importance various researchers have ascribed to the rise of print journalism in the chronicles of modern nationalism. Journalism played an inestimably important part in the history of modern Jewish nationalism as well (Slutsky 1970: 9). Hebrew-language newspapers appeared years before the emergence of the Zionist movement, and, regardless of their ideological agenda, the very fact that they were published in Hebrew contributed to the distinctiveness of modern Jewish nationalism. The newspapers created a bond, frequently secular in nature, among various communities whose distance and cultural differences far exceeded any similarities...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Radio in the State of Israel
    (pp. 75-116)

    Radio is the most paradoxical of modern mass media in that, despite its ubiquitous nature, it receives little public—or academic—attention. Radio is a sort of “oral tapestry”—we can encounter it at any given time and never stop to think about the meaning of its existence (Bennett, Emmison, and Frow 1999: 81). It is such a natural part of our lives that we can barely grasp its contribution (Tacchi 2000: 290). In terms of its media market position, radio is also a relatively marginal player. The profits that stand to be gained from radio broadcasts are far lower...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Television in Israel
    (pp. 117-167)

    In previous chapters we saw that both the printed press and radio contributed substantially to the shaping of Jewish nationalism in its modern format. The Zionist leadership perceived these media as highly important tools en route to realizing the political and national ambitions of the Jewish people and, first and foremost, the establishment of the State of Israel. The same cannot be said of the attitude of the political leadership in Israel toward the founding of television broadcasting. Thus, while, throughout the rest of the world, television is the medium most identified with the emergence of new states in the...

  8. CHAPTER 4 The Internet’s Debut in Israel
    (pp. 168-194)

    In the preceding chapter, we saw that television was perceived as a medium with the potential to undermine the national hegemonic culture. As the Internet became available across broad social strata, its increasing popularization and access were likewise seen to threaten the link between national integration and territory—a link in which the national media, including the printed press and radio, play a key role (Carey 1998: 34). The Internet is a global medium, seen as equally accessible to all and free of limitations of place or time (Shwartz-Altschuler 2007: 20). It thus seemed, at least at the outset, that...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 195-202)

    It would seem, at least on the face of it, that the technological and conceptual changes in the broadcast media market—especially in television—are challenging the principal attributes of mass and national viewing that predominated in the second half of the twentieth century. The media consumption patterns of the older generation—which research often still refers to as “natural” patterns—are by now no longer relevant to many members of the younger generation. Consumption patterns and options for creating media content—which are highly individual and take place when, where, and how users find it convenient—pose a challenge...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 203-220)
  11. Index
    (pp. 221-227)