Study: Hebrew press is biased towards Livni

Claims FM receives more coverage than other candidates, with 'Haaretz' and 'Yediot' most in favor.

livni good 224 88  ap (photo credit: AP)
livni good 224 88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The Hebrew press's coverage of the Kadima leadership race has been biased in favor of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, according to a comprehensive study conducted by the Tel Aviv-based Media research firm Sikur. The study examined the coverage of the four candidates for Kadima chairman from July 31 to August 19 in the five leading Hebrew-language newspapers: Yediot Aharonot, Yisrael HaYom, Ma'ariv, Haaretz and Globes. Livni received more coverage than the other three candidates and more of the coverage she received was positive. Due to her role as foreign minister, she also received much more coverage that was unrelated to the primary. Among the 215 articles published about the four candidates in the five newspapers during the three weeks of the study, some 40 percent were about Livni, 35% Mofaz and just 12% each for Public Security Minister Avi Dichter and Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, who trail Livni and Mofaz in the race by a wide margin. There were 67 positive articles about Livni, 46 about Mofaz, 21 about Sheetrit and just 13 about Dichter. Mofaz had the highest number of negative articles with 46, followed by Livni with 35, Dichter 11 and Sheetrit 8. As expected, Mofaz was featured in most of the articles about security and Livni in those about clean governance. Livni was mentioned most in articles about political experience, but most of those articles about her were negative. Haaretz and Yediot were the newspapers most in favor of Livni, with seven more positive articles about her than about Mofaz. Ma'ariv preferred Mofaz the most, with three more positive articles about him than about Livni, but it also had three more negative articles about him than about Livni. In Globes, there were seven negative articles about Mofaz and only one about Livni. Sheetrit and Dichter received much less coverage in all the papers. In Yisrael HaYom, there were no negative articles about either of them during the period surveyed. Mofaz's campaign said that despite any advantage Livni might have in the press, Mofaz had the advantage in the field, and that was what mattered. In reaction to the study, Sheetrit complained that the newspapers were being unfair by not covering his campaign enough. Livni's campaign said there was another reputable study that proved the exact opposite, that the the media was biased against her.