Fade out for IBA English News

Whether this will persuade Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuto take appropriate action remains to be seen.

October 13, 2015 02:32
1 minute read.

IBA logo. (photo credit: COURTESY OF IBA)

Television viewers who expected to see the restoration on Monday of the IBA News in English were sadly disappointed. On Sunday, a spokesman for the Israel Broadcasting Authority told The Jerusalem Post that the program, which had not appeared on the previous Thursday and was not scheduled to appear on Sunday, would resume Monday.

This was duly reported in the paper along with his assurance that the program would continue to run until the IBA, which is in the process of liquidation, will be completely dismantled.

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The target date is the end of March 2016.

However, on Monday morning, the spokesman called to say that the program would not be screened on Monday evening and that the situation was being examined.

Less than five minutes later, he was back on the phone to regretfully announce the demise of IBA English News for lack of human resources – a situation for which apparently no solution could be found despite the fact that many IBA employees, although not part of the English department, speak fluent, almost accent-less English.

The spokesman also commented that by dropping the IBA News in English, the IBA was in violation of the public broadcasting law, which specifically lists English as one of the broadcast languages.

Whether this will persuade Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is also communications minister, to take appropriate action remains to be seen.

For months now, IBA employees have been complaining that they have not been advised of their rights or whether or not they would have jobs in the foreseeable future.

An English language news service had been discussed within the institutions of the IBA for years. When it was finally agreed on, the initial launch date was set for January 1989. That came and went. Six other launch dates were announced between September 1989 and March 1990. The program finally went to air in October 1990, and was killed off on its 25th anniversary in October 2015.

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