On the left, the Israeli site +972 offers penetrating and sometimes censorship-busting commentary that takes readers far beyond the kind of material available from mainstream Israeli and Jewish sites. It often breaks stories that are then picked up by the established press and provide important examples of “citizen journalism” in action that must be rattling the establishment.
Another totally new phenomenon is Peter Beinhart’s “Open Zion” Blog on the Daily Beast – an online forum in a mainstream digital publication devoted entirely to discussion of issues around Israel.
Amid this flood of exciting new, instantly accessible material, it has been interesting to work out where an old-fashioned print publication like The Jerusalem Report fits in. Gone are the days when we could claim to be the only English-language publication from Israel, let alone the Middle East. And why would someone wait to receive the print edition of The Report when the same stories are instantly accessible online from a dozen different sources?
We are launching a raft of social media access points from Twitter to Facebook, as well as a blog and a new website.
But we don’t intend to compete with the breaking news sites. Instead, we will set our own journalistic agenda rather than following the news. While other sites rush to post stories online and beat the competition, we take a step back and deploy experienced and talented writers to research issues and carefully collect exclusive information.
Readers of The Report in the past few months have enjoyed a series of exclusive interviews with major figures – from Amos Oz to Moshe Feiglin to Salam Fayyad to Lord Jacob Rothschild – that simply are not available anywhere else. Our coverage of Israeli business and high tech is unparalleled in both its depth and range. Allowing writers a week or two to work on a single story has allowed us to set the pace in reporting such diverse issues as the revival of the Kibbutz, the plight of the Falash Mura in Ethiopia, the launch of a new Palestinian women’s police unit, and the harassment of women reporters covering the Arab Spring. These are just some of the stories that have been covered in depth in recent months only in our pages.
Our strength is in our style: long-form, well-written, well-informed journalism accompanied by excellent photography and graphics that provides readers with an informative and entertaining experience that allows them to relax – far away from the insistent demands of the computer screen.