The research examines the combination of public and commercial broadcasting in Israel, where a unique mixed model with commercial broadcasting under public supervision has been developed. Israel’s media policy is examined here as a case study for a country that is constantly debating the need to protect local culture in a competitive, highly advanced and global media market. Whereas media policy had traditionally been based on the European public broadcasting model, the commercial environment today is different in many ways from the traditional broadcasting sector, as new technologies and global culture are dominating. The mixed model, which was adopted in Europe after the transition to competitive and commercial media, also applies to Israel to date while representing a compromised structure of public, commercial, and new media broadcasting. The paper describes the current incarnation of European-style public service television in Israel, focusing specifically on the often-problematic integration of commercial broadcasting into a state-operated broadcasting system built on the premise of public good. In doing so, it raises some fundamental questions about the continued viability of public television in Israel and suggests that new policy objectives, commercialization, competition, and new technology have become more important than government involvement in the market.
Media Policy in Israel: The New Structure of Public Broadcasting, by Yaron Katz, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel