New Research Reveals the Underrepresentation of Arabs in the Israeli Media

A new study by NIF grantees Sikkuy and Seventh Eye (and the Berl Katznelson Foundation) has found that Arabs represent only 2 percent of the interviewees in Hebrew-language broadcast media. The data found that in January and February 2016, just 2.8 percent of the interviewees on Channel 2 were Arab (128 out of 5,528), along with only 2.1 percent on Channel 10 (135 out of 6,517). This follows an earlier study which found that coverage of the 2015 Paris terror attacks on Israeli television did not feature a single Arab expert despite the fact that Israeli-Arabs make up around one-fifth of Israel’s population.

Seventh Eye, a journalistic watchdog organization, will now publish a series of reports on the under-representation of Arabs in Israeli media. Edan Ring, Director of Public Affairs and Head of the Equal Media Project at Sikkuy, said: “The Hebrew media influences public opinion and the way Arabs are viewed by the Jewish public. What about having Arab doctors and experts on various subjects also being on TV and radio? The situation could be handled by means of government regulation … But the media outlets should begin already now to handle the situation on their own and to set rules for themselves that would be in line with their place and their influence on Israeli society.”

April 2016