The Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry announced that veteran
journalist Nitzan Chen began work Sunday as the new director of the Government
Chen took over the job from Oren Helman, who left in
December 2011 after less than two years in the position, to become a senior vice
president at the Israel Electric Corporation.
The GPO is responsible for
dealing with foreign journalists, issuing official press cards to media
employees in Israel, coordinating media coverage for state events and official
visits and managing the national photo collection.
Chen served recently
as chairman of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, and before that
accumulated 20 years of experience as a broadcast journalist with Channel 1,
serving as a parliamentary correspondent, editor and settlements
One of the most memorable public moments involving Chen was in
March 1999, when Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef kicked him out of a press
conference at Arye Deri’s house because he started to ask a question about
Deri’s bribery and breach of trust convictions.
Yosef instructed Deri not
to answer, accused Chen of asking hostile questions and ordered him – all during
a live broadcast – to “go outside.”
Chen later co-authored a biography of
Yosef in 2004 along with Anshel Pfeffer.