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Where to get reliable news in English while you are studying in Israel

Bernie, Founder, Bernie News Network (BNN) gives the low down on how to navigate Israeli Media

As international students, we are expected to be well-informed about current affairs in Israel. Whether or not we actively follow the news, we often find ourselves searching for reliable sources, especially during events like strikes, protests, attacks, and Eurovision 2023. However, it can be challenging to determine which sources to trust and how to navigate the Israeli media as informed global citizens. To address this, Bernie, the Founder of the Bernie News Network (BNN), a groundbreaking media network that is changing the game, has compiled a Comprehensive Analysis of Israeli Media Sources for our benefit:

Founder Founder, Lead Journalist BNN Bernard Moerdler & Lead Journalist Avi Granoff
Founder, Lead Journalist BNN Bernard Moerdler & Lead Journalist Avi Granoff

Israel has a diverse and vibrant media landscape, with numerous newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and online platforms catering to its modern, developed, and literate society. This article will delve into the history, freedom of the press, various media outlets in Israel, and an innovative new media network disrupting the landscape: the Bernie News Network (BNN).

History of Israeli Media

The history of Israeli media can be traced back to 1863, during the Ottoman Empire, when Ha-Levanon and Havatzelet were established as the first weekly Hebrew newspapers. By 1952, the International Publishing Company J-M Ltd became the state's first book publisher. In the years following independence, censorship was regularly enforced throughout events such as the Yom Kippur War and the 1970s. However, in 1986, the Israeli government allowed for the establishment of private and commercial media outlets to compete with state media.

Freedom of the Press in Israel

The Israeli government generally respects freedom of the press, which is protected by the basic laws of Israel and an independent judiciary. Hate speech, publishing praise of violence, or issues of national security are prohibited. While Israeli journalists operate with few restrictions, the government has placed more limitations on Palestinian journalists working in the region. Reporters Without Borders alleges that the authorities have entered Palestinian offices and homes in search of "illegal material." Nonetheless, the media does carry criticism of government policies.

Israeli Media Outlets

Israel boasts a large number of dailies, weeklies, and periodicals, all privately owned. There are over ten different languages in the Israeli media, with Hebrew as the predominant language. Arabic press caters to the Arab citizens of Israel, including those governed by the Palestinian National Authority. Three large, privately-owned conglomerates based in Tel Aviv dominate the mass media in Israel.

Broadcast Media

Israel has a robust broadcast media industry, with a variety of television and radio stations available to the public. Some notable examples include:

  • I24 News: A news and talk channel based in Tel Aviv, I24 News broadcasts in English, Arabic, and French. It aims to provide a diverse and balanced perspective on Israel and the Middle East, in addition to international news and culture.

  • ILTV News: A web-based news channel that produces daily videos in English about Israel and the region. It covers topics such as politics, security, economy, innovation, and lifestyle. However, it has a limited reach and influence compared to other media outlets and may not offer a comprehensive or critical view of the issues.

  • Radio TLV1: An online radio station that broadcasts in English from Tel Aviv. It offers podcasts and live shows on various topics, such as news, culture, music, history, and society. However, it may have a liberal or progressive bias as it often features voices that are critical of the Israeli government or supportive of the Palestinian cause.

Online Media

The internet has revolutionized the way people consume news and information in Israel, with many media outlets offering online platforms to reach a broader audience. Some popular Israeli news websites include:

  • The Times of Israel: An English-language online newspaper providing news, analysis, and opinion on Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world. However, some critics have claimed it has a left-center bias and questioned its factual accuracy in some cases.

  • Ynetnews: The English-language online counterpart of Yedioth Ahronoth, Ynetnews, provides breaking news, analysis, and opinion on Israel in addition to covering international news. However, it may have a centrist bias and potentially reflects the views of its owner, Arnon Mozes, who has been involved in a corruption scandal with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • Haaretz: An Israeli daily newspaper and online news site with Hebrew and English editions. Based in Tel Aviv, it is Israel’s oldest daily newspaper. Haaretz covers news, economy, business, culture, entertainment, and international affairs across Israel and the Middle East region. However, it may have a left-leaning bias and favor a critical or progressive view of Israel and its policies.

  • Arutz Sheva: An Israeli media network that operates a Hebrew-language news website, an online radio station, and a television channel. It covers news, politics, religion, culture, and education from a national-religious Zionist perspective. However, it may have a far right-leaning bias and favor an anti-Palestinian stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It also faces legal issues and controversies due to its unauthorized broadcasting from the West Bank and frequent use of pirate radio.

  • The Jerusalem Post: An English-language daily newspaper and online news site, The Jerusalem Post also offers an extensive online presence, covering news, analysis, and opinion related to Israel and the Middle East. However, it may have a right-leaning bias and favor a more pro-Israeli stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli Media Rankings

In 2020, Reporters Without Borders ranked Israel 88th in their Press Freedom Index, with lower numbers indicating better treatment of reporters. Freedom House, which publishes an annual Freedom of the Press report, described Israel as having "the freest press in the region" in 2013 but downgraded its status from "Free" to "Partly Free" due to various factors, including the indictment of journalist Uri Blau for possession of state secrets.

Censorship in Israel

Censorship in Israel is exercised when it is certain that the publication of a piece of information would harm public safety. When an item is censored, the newspaper may appeal the censor's ruling to a "committee of three," composed of a member of the public (who serves as the chairman), a representative of the army, and a representative of the press. The committee's decisions are binding, and over the years, it has often overruled the decision of the censor.

Future of Israeli Media

The Israeli media landscape will likely continue to evolve, driven by technological advancements and shifting consumer preferences. As new platforms such as BNN emerge and gain traction, traditional media outlets must adapt and innovate to stay relevant in the rapidly changing media landscape.

Bernie News Network (BNN)

Bernie News Network (BNN) is a revolutionary new media network disrupting the online media landscape in Israel. By providing quick and accurate news reports through the widely used messaging app, WhatsApp, BNN has gained significant traction among users in Israel and beyond. It also introduced a website with informative blog posts, in addition to other English content.

Advantages of BNN

One of the key advantages of using WhatsApp as a news media platform is its ease of use and widespread adoption. With over 2 billion users worldwide, including those belonging to older generations who may not be as familiar with other online platforms, BNN can reach a broader audience with its updates. By providing quick updates directly to users' phones, BNN makes it easier for people to stay informed and up to date on the latest events in Israel and the Middle East.

Moreover, BNN's news updates are delivered without fluff or unnecessary commentary. Instead, users receive information straight from the source, the same sources that many larger news organizations use. However, unlike traditional media outlets that take the time to format this information into articles, BNN can deliver it in an easy-to-understand format that saves time and keeps users informed.

Joining BNN

In summary, BNN's innovative use of WhatsApp as a news media platform has disrupted the online media landscape in Israel. With its ease of use, widespread adoption, and focus on delivering news straight from the sources without fluff, BNN has quickly become a go-to source for thousands seeking quick and accurate news updates.

To learn more about BNN and join, visit


The Israeli media landscape is diverse and ever-evolving. With a strong tradition of freedom of the press and a wide range of media outlets, Israel's media landscape offers a wealth of information for its citizens and the world. The emergence of innovative platforms like BNN further highlights the dynamic nature of Israeli media and its potential to continue growing and adapting to the needs of its audience.

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