Israel ha-Yom cited as Israel downgraded to ‘partially free press’
JPost, Apr 26 2016
Clockwise from top left: Maariv, Yediot, Haaretz, Israel ha-Yom
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 Israel ha-Yom. According to Freedom House, Israel’s press freedom has been eroded because of Israel ha-Yom’s business model. The freebie operates at a substantial loss, but 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 ha-Yom’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 MENA in terms of press freedom. On a global scale, Israel ranks 65th. The nearest MENA country is Tunisia, which comes in at 110. As for countries deemed “worst of the worst,” the dubious distinction goes to North Korea.