The political arena does not have a monopoly on quarrels and
There have been several media upheavals in recent weeks, with
more on the way. The most recent ruction pertains not only to the mass
dismissal of Channel 10 personnel and the possible closure of the channel at the
end of the year, but also to the axing of media department heads at the Israel
Broadcasting Authority as regular program hosts.
The IBA ethics
committee, headed by retired judge Dr. Bilha Cahana, unanimously decided
that neither the director-general of the IBA nor any of the heads of media
departments can host programs on radio or television on a regular
The decision will today be presented to the IBA plenum for
The amended IBA law, which is due to go into effect in the
near future, forbids the authority’s director-general from being a permanent
anchor of any regular program, though he or she may appear on various programs
from time to time in accordance with the approval of the IBA council, which
under the new legislation will replace the IBA plenum.
legislation specifies that there must be some distance between management and
workers in order for management to function as it should.
A clause in the
legislation explains that if a member of upper management is also a presenter,
that person cannot give proper attention to supervising the content and budget
of all programs, the suitability of interviewees and the possible conflicts of
interest, along with other issues relevant to his or her position. It is
understood, the legislation goes on to state, that when a person is appointed to
a certain position, that person leaves all other roles behind.
hardest hit by the new edict will be IBA directorgeneral Yoni Ben-Menachem, who
hosts a regular political program on Israeli-Arab relations on Israel Radio’s
Reshet Bet, and Michael Miro, the head of Israel Radio, who for years has been
hosting a radio program on environmental issues calledEn Route to
For Ben-Menachem, it may not be so difficult, in that his input
in the program is to ask questions without offering opinions, whereas Miro uses
his program as a personal soap box and almost invariably tells his interviewees
what they should be doing to affect change.
Other media heads who present
programs only occasionally in rotation with other broadcasters may not be
affected, but the final decision as to whether or not they will be allowed on
screen or behind the microphone is up to the incoming IBA council.