Linde: 'Boycott law not good for Israel, freedom of speech'

Short clip: 20 Questions sits down with the new editor-in-chief in his first filmed interview since taking the reins of the newspaper.

By CHANA RUSANOV, DEBORAH DANAN
July 28, 2011 19:01
3 minute read.

The Jerusalem Post's new editor-in-chief, Steve Linde, joined 20 Questions this week, and shared his thoughts on the future of the newspaper, the News of the World scandal, Jimmy Carter, and the two-state solution.

The South Africa native began his term as editor-in-chief two weeks ago, following the resignation of his predecessor, David Horovitz. Linde first broached journalism as an undergraduate student, and continued to a graduate degree in sociology from the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa. After a move to America, Linde studied Journalism once more, this time on the graduate level at University of California at Berkeley.

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Linde told 20 Questions that he would encourage young people to study journalism, including its new, emergent forms.

At 27, Linde made aliya and joined the IDF Artillery Unit. During his service, he also worked for Israel Radio's English news department.

Linde joined the Post 14 years ago, and before taking the reins as editor-in-chief, he worked under Horovitz as managing editor.

Linde told 20 Questions that under his leadership the paper won’t "differ significantly from the direction of David Horovitz." He plans to maintain the Post’s emphasis on balanced reportage, with opinions from one political camp always coupled with views from the other side.

While Linde intends to "have a range of views among our columnists across the board," he hopes to steer clear of extremist opinions on the Left or the Right.

In response to how he differs from Horovitz, Linde said that he is not as concerned as his predecessor about the paper being labeled.

"I think anyone who’s read the Jerusalem Post... over the past few years can’t really point to us being a right-wing newspaper. I don’t think we tend to go one way or the other,’ Linde said.

In his new role, Linde keeps the chair of Gershon Agron, founding editor of the paper and former mayor of Jerusalem, in his office.

"Agron was an unbelievable guy," who does not get enough credit, in Linde’s view. "One of the things I’d like to do as editor is pay tribute to him," said Linde, especially in light of the Post’s upcoming 80th anniversary.

On the other hand, Linde feels that Jimmy Carter, despite his pivotal role in the peace process with Egypt, has done the most damage to Israel in recent years through his anti-Israel statements as well as his meetings with Hamas.

When asked for a solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis, Linde replied that he doesn’t think "unilateral moves by either party are beneficial at all."

Instead, he hopes the United States, along with other friendly countries, will pressure the Palestinians to sit down to negotiations with Israel and finally reach a peace agreement.

On the future of journalism in the wake of the Murdoch scandal, Linde maintains that while the scandal is a "huge, interesting story" that will certainly have ramifications throughout the industry, it is not "the beginning of the end" for the industry.

Amateur journalism, whether in the form of Wikileaks, blogs, or video, has also changed the face of contemporary reporting, Linde opined, adding that he is excited to see "journalism going through a huge metamorphosis."

Linde admits that this transitional period has been tough for print journalism, but "the Jerusalem Post has proven that we can survive."

The Post's moves to diversity in order to appeal to a broader readership have helped the paper stay afloat, according to Linde. The Jerusalem Post’s editions include, but are not limited to, French, Christian, International, and Hebrew publications.

And his bottom line? “We’re doing well.”

The full interview is available here in the Premium Zone's 20 Questions

20 Questions is a JPost Premium Zone initiative empowering our readers to shape the content they would like to see. Reader participation is vital and we encourage your feedback. Please submit all comments, questions and suggestions in the fields below or alternatively, send them to  jpost20questions@gmail.com


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