yair lapid 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The heads of the nation’s media outlets will soon convene to consider adopting a
mandatory cooling- off period for journalists entering politics, Israel
Broadcasting Authority director-general Moti Shklar, who heads the National
Council of Editors, said Wednesday at a Knesset conference on journalism and
Shklar was joined by politicians, professors and other current
and former news executives at the conference, which was convened by Kadima MK
Ronit Tirosh, sponsor of the so-called Yair Lapid bill, which would legislate a
six-month cooling off period for journalists before they could enter
The bill is named after Channel 2 anchorman Yair Lapid, who
indicated at a speech in Herzliya last week that he intended to enter politics
ahead of the next election.
Lapid wrote the heads of Channel 2 this week
that he would agree to a cooling-off period if he decided to run.
will bring her bill to a vote in the ministerial committee on legislation
Sunday, and then to a preliminary reading in the Knesset.
But she will
wait four months before further legislating the law to enable the editors
council to make a decision.
“I don’t want to prevent quality people from
the world of journalism from entering politics, but I want them to take a break
and keep our press as objective as possible,” Tirosh said.
journalist Ya’acov Ahimeir said the bill set a bad precedent for
journalistic ethics. It was his suggestion to turn to the Council of
Shklar accepted the request to consider a cooling-off period even though
himself vigorously opposes it.
“I think that setting cooling-off periods
sends the wrong message – that everyone is corrupt and would only act
themselves,” Shklar said.
Former Channel 2 news head Shalom Kital, who
like Shklar opposes the bill, sarcastically suggested a three-year
period, because a would-be politician would feel it was acceptable to
media outlet to advance his forthcoming political career as long as he
cooling-off period afterwards.
Former Ben-Gurion University
communications professor Dan Caspi defended the bill, saying that
ethics sometimes required “steroids” to strengthen them.
“The press are
the watchdog of the political system,” Caspi said. “They cannot be
join the people they are watching overnight.”