Pro-Netanyahu tabloid cited as Israel downgraded to 'partially free press'

In its annual report on press freedom, Freedom House says that 'Israel Hayom' newspaper’s business model 'endangered the stability of other media outlets.'

April 27, 2016 11:07
1 minute read.
Israeli newspapers

Israeli newspapers. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


An international free press watchdog has downgraded Israel to a country whose media is only “partially free” due to what it says is the “growing impact” of a tabloid closely aligned with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to Freedom House, Israel’s press freedom has been eroded because of Israel Hayom’s business model.

The freely distributed newspaper, which is owned by billionaire casino magnate and Netanyahu confidante Sheldon Adelson, operates at a substantial loss. Nonetheless, it is the most widely read Hebrew-language newspaper in the country, eclipsing the one-time dominant tabloid Yediot Ahronot.

In its annual report on press freedom, Freedom House says that the newspaper’s business model “endangered the stability of other media outlets.”

The organization said that Israel Hayom’s “unchecked expansion of paid content – some of it government-funded – whose nature was not clearly identified to the public” justified the downgrade.

Despite the lower mark, Israel remains the highest ranking country in the Middle East and North Africa region in terms of press freedom.

On a global scale, Israel ranks 65th. The nearest Middle Eastern country is Tunisia, which comes in at 110.

As for country’s deemed “worst of the worst,” the dubious distinction goes to North Korea followed by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Crimea, Eritrea, Cuba, Belarus, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, and Syria.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Palestinian prisoners wait to be released from Ketziot prison, southern Israel, October 1, 2007
March 24, 2019
Hamas inmates stab two Israeli guards