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Thursday, December 16 2010

Israeli Treasury Hits Journos In Their Pockets

Shekels I wasn't aware of this, but foreign reporters in Israel get a tax-exemption for their first three years in the country. Treasury officials are likely to change that. Dominic Waghorn of Sky News makes a compelling case against changing the regulations.

He points out it would cause many reporters to move their base of of operations to Ramallah or Amman, and also spark more parachute journalism.

Instead of paying a flat rate of 25 percent for their first three years here, they will have the same deal as Israelis. It will make the government an extra few hundred thousand shekels a year . . .

What Israel needs to avoid at all costs is foreign paratroopers – journalists who land in the country for a few days, armed with a clutch of Wikipedia articles and the book they read on the plane.

You cannot ‘wing it’ if you want to report on this part of the world, although many try to get away with it. More often than not, when they do they take sides, because they think it helps them report the story better. Black and white is easier to communicate, but as we all know, the truth is usually in between.

Israel's one of the most heavily reported countries in the world, so one way or another, the Western press will continue covering developments. And foreign bureaus are disappearing anyway.

But I'm also concerned that the shrinking pool of foreign journalists in Israel will concentrate information among fewer people, which fertilizes the ground for media groupthink.



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" it would cause many reporters to move their base of of operations to Ramallah or Amman"

No way that would happen. Anyone that would prefer to live in Ramallah or Amman over an Israeli city is not going to be a friend of Israel. I have been to both Ramallah and Amman; A Western journalist would not want to live there.


I'm rolling over laughing. Given the quality of reporting by 'permanent' reporters here, often outed for poor professional standards, cowardice, naivety, cooperation with staged propaganda events, dependence on Palestinian stringers and straight out expressed bias - all exposed by HonestReporting, CAMERA, Just Journalism, etc combined with agenda driven, venal, cowardly editors it's hard to believe we could get worse.

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