Minister of Industry, Trade, and Labor and acting Finance Minister Ehud Olmert, who is also responsible for the countryâ€™s broadcasting authority, approved the Dinur Committeeâ€™s recommendations for a reform of public broadcasting in Israel Monday.
The committee, which was created by the government in March of 2003 and was chaired by Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor director-general Raâ€™anan Dinur, was asked to propose a reform of the Israeli public broadcasting system.
The reform submitted in August included the recommendation to create a public broadcasting council that would be elected by a committee headed by a retired judge and would function as an independent regulator for the Israel Broadcasting Authority, IDF radio, and the Knesset channel. This council, in turn, would both determine the IBAâ€™s budget and elect a public board of director that would elect the director-general of the broadcasting authority, a position currently elected by the government.
In addition, the committee recommended that at least 50% of airtime be devoted to local productions, and that all programs other than news, sports, and special productions be produced externally in order to cut costs.
Another cost-cutting strategy suggested by the committee was a significant reduction of manpower over the coming year.
The committeeâ€™s recommendations also include creating an independent, state-supported Arab TV channel.