Notwithstanding the upheavals at the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and sanctions imposed by both technicians and journalists, the protagonists in the ongoing war between the IBA’s management and its employees will put aside their differences on Sunday to honor the memory of Ilan Roeh.
Roeh, a reporter for Israel Radio who had been covering events in Southern Lebanon for five years, was killed together with three members of the IDF, including Brig.-Gen. Erez Gerstein, in February 1999, when the military convoy he was traveling in struck a roadside bomb.
His death, at age 32, was a major shock for his colleagues at the IBA, and the director general’s annual prize for excellence was established in Roeh’s name.
This year’s recipients are chief producer Yigal Buton and education reporter Eitam Lachover.
Buton, 64, will receive a lifetime achievement award while Lachover will be recognized for the exclusives that he broadcast on Israel Radio.
Buton, who has been with Israel Radio since 1967, is responsible for the smooth transmission of live and recorded news broadcasts, including the musical interludes between programs. He is also responsible for special program line-ups on Shabbat and religious and national holidays. In addition, when special studios have to be set up in places where there are no regular Israel Radio studios, Buton is the person in charge. He is the chief liaison in the news division both in terms of content and organization, and is the final address for all questions and problems relating to news and current affairs broadcasts. He is known for being patient and pleasant, but above all, professional.
Lachover joined Israel Radio four and a half years ago, initially working as a sports broadcaster. He took up the Education beat some 18 months ago while continuing to broadcast sporting events. Among the important stories that he shared with listeners was the outrageous situation in Bnei Brak where girls from Sephardic families were subjected to discrimination and not accepted into Ashkenazi schools and seminaries.
Following legal intervention that forced the schools to accept Sephardic girls, the parents of Ashkenazi girls took their daughters out of school. As an outcome of Lachover’s ongoing reports on the subject, a special state committee was set up to examine the situation, and the matter has been considered sufficiently serious to be referred to the Attorney General’s office, which in turn referred it to the State Prosecutor’s office. The awards ceremony on Sunday will be held at Beit Sokolov, the headquarters of the National Union of Journalists.