Blankfeld Award Winner Featured in Canadian Jewish Media

Aidan Fishman, our Blankfeld Award winner has been featured in a number of Canadian Jewish media outlets keen to highlight his achievement. Aidan is now $2000 better off thanks to his excellent writing abilities, which impressed HonestReporting’s judging panel.

The Winnipeg Jewish Review reposted one of Aidan’s opinion pieces that had been published by that media outlet in July and was included in Aidan’s submission for the Blankfeld Award.

Aptly titled “The Global Media: Israel’s Achilles Heel?” here’s a short excerpt:

Few things so consistently irk the pro-Israel community as the coverage of Israel by the mainstream news media. Proud Zionists constantly bemoan the Jewish State’s poor performance in this behind-the-scenes struggle that shapes popular perceptions of the Middle East.

Israel and its allies can not afford to take the modern media lightly. The average North American is woefully uninformed on domestic political issues, and even more so in the realm of foreign affairs. Between work, family and fun, Westerners simply lack the time and energy to cultivate informed opinions vis à vis Israel and the wider region. Instead, they unblinkingly rely upon reports from major news networks, rarely if ever questioning the reliability of the information which is fed to them. A thirty-second video clip can plausibly shape an individual’s lifelong perception of an entire country.

Unfortunately, mass media displays a number of features that seriously undermine its credibility on Middle Eastern issues, usually to Israel’s detriment. At the same, the Jewish State and its supporters are learning from past mistakes, pioneering innovative tactics to tell Israel’s side of the story to the broader public.

You can read the rest of Aidan’s opinion piece here.

The Jewish Tribune interviewed Aidan:

“I’d like to clear the air and dispel some of the classic clichéd narratives that we see with regard to Israel,” said Fishman. “It’s not just that I feel a sense of loyalty to the state of Israel as a Jew and a Zionist. Unfortunately, the knowledge or perception gap between what your average Canadian or American citizen thinks about Israel and the reality on the ground in Israel and the surrounding countries is the worst out of any field. One of the tragedies of modern journalism is that people think they’re really well-informed…but the level of analysis is very shallow.”

Fishman beat out applicants from Canada, the US, South Africa and the UK to become the judges’ unanimous choice for the $2,000 prize. He said he was surprised and pleased to have won.

“It’s very important to me,” said Fishman, who added that he doesn’t get paid for his articles. “It’s very rewarding to be recognized and rewarded for a line of work that I didn’t get into in order to be rewarded.”

The Jewish Post & News also reported on Aidan’s success.

Congratulations once again to this year’s Blankfeld Award winner.