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Mass Communication In Israel: Nationalism, Globalization, and Segmentation

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Mass Communication In Israel

Nationalism, Globalization, and Segmentation

Oren Soffer
Translated from the Hebrew by Judith Yalon

238 pages, Bibliog, Index

ISBN  978-1-78238-451-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2014)

eISBN 978-1-78238-452-6 eBook

Hb   Buy the eBook from these vendors Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Soffer's book is the result of extensive and painstaking research, and it bears witness to the author's thorough familiarity with relevant theories of sociology and communication, as well as of the subject matter. The volume contains a comprehensive bibliography, and a detailed index… Soffer's well researched book is a welcome addition to communication studies as well as to the history of Zionism and Israeli society.” · Middle East Media and Book Reviews Online


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.

Oren Soffer is Head of the Department of Sociology, Political Science and Communication at the Open University of Israel. He has been recently a visiting scholar in MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program, and held a lecturer position at the University of Manchester. He has published extensively in the fields of media theory and history.

Subject: Media Studies
Area: Middle East & Israel



Introduction: Mass Communication—Nationalism, Globalization, and Social Fragmentation

  • The Structure of the Book
  • The Nation: A Theoretical Framework
  • Nationalism as a Communications Phenomenon
  • Extreme Simultaneity:  The Electronic Media
  • New Technologies: The End of the Media National Role?

Chapter 1. The Evolution of the Hebrew and Israeli Press

  • The Press and Nationalism
  • From Political Party Press to Commercial Press
  • The Beginnings of the Hebrew Press in Palestine during the Ottoman Era
  • The Press in Mandatory Times
  •     The Political Party Press in the Yishuv Era
  •     Private Press in the Yishuv Era
  •     The Palestinian press in the Yishuv era
  • The Press in the State of Israel
  • Regulation of the Press: Official and Other Arrangements
  • Party Political Press in the State of Israel
  •     The Commercial Press in the State of Israel
  •     The Rise and Fall of Local Newspapers
  •     The Arabic-language Press
    Russian-language Press
  •     The Ultra-Orthodox Press
  • The Press Crisis and the Advent of Free Newspapers
  • Conclusion

Chapter 2.  Radio in the State of Israel

  • Radio and National Solidarity
  • Historic Background: Radio in the Yishuv Era
  • Radio in the State of Israel: Institutional Aspects
  • Radio and Imagined Israeliness
  • Special Broadcasts: From the Eichmann Trial to Eshkol’s Speech
  • Forerunners of Broadcasting Pluralism
  •     Galei Zahal (Army Radio)
  •     The Voice of Peace
  • The Multichannel Radio Age: Diversification and Decentralization?
  • Conclusion

Chapter 3. Television in Israel

  • Television in the National Arena
  • Public Broadcasting in Changing Times
  • The “No-go” Era: The Television Debate in the State of Israel
  • Educational Television
  • The Founding of General Television
  • Television in Israel: Institutional Aspects
  • Chronicles of the Channel 1: Socio-cultural Aspects
  •     Educational Television
  •     Arab-Language Broadcasting
  •     Music, Imported Series, and Satire
  •     Hebrew-Language Television
  •     Documentaries and News Programs
  • Television Broadcasting in the Single Channel Era: Summary
  • Israel’s Battle over Color TV: The Case of the “Eraser” and the “Anti-Eraser”
  •     The Public Debate over Color Broadcasting
  •     The Anti-Eraser
  • The Multichannel Era in Israel 
  •     Commercial and Global Trends
  •     Television Broadcasts to Former Soviet Union (FSU) Immigrants
  •     Television Broadcasts for Arab Citizens in Israel
  • Digital and Interactive Technology
  • Conclusion

Chapter 4. The Internet’s Debut in Israel

  • Is the National Media Age Over?
  • The Evolution of Internet Accessibility in Israel
  • Israelis Surfing the Internet: Between the Local and the Global
  • Internet Use among Children and Adolescents  
  • The Internet and Sectorial Communication
  •     Internet Use among Arab Citizens of Israel
  •     The Internet and the Ultra-orthodox Community
  •     Russian-language Internet Sites
  • The Internet and the Public-Political Sphere in IsraelInternet Discourse in a Security Crisis


List of sources

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