Opposition leader Netanyahu this week attacked the approval of the law restricting the tenure of prime ministers in the ministerial committee, which he calls “Iranian law,” and as always on the road also put in the media. “Now they have another problem,” Netanyahu said. Of propaganda channels, so what do we do? We will also act against the media channels in an undemocratic manner. There is, for example, a program in the GLC by Yaakov Bardugo and it is the most popular in the GLC. 350,000 listeners, it has 3-4 times as many listeners as Marzi Barkai. Now cut him an hour, on the way to cut him at all. By these means they try to stifle the will of the public in every way. To replace the people, to silence the people, in the Knesset and in the media. “
Netanyahu, like Netanyahu, does not use any ingredient in the salad he cuts, and mixes (apparently intentionally) between concepts such as “the will of the people”, “propaganda”, “the Knesset” and radio (where there is a consistent trend of increasing listening). But one fact is that the former prime minister’s keen senses were well received, or read in the headline from the beginning of the month on Walla! Brenze: Slowly and carefully, it has been a while since the new companies of Keshet and Reshet have been diving into the viewing figures. In fact, October has been News 12’s weakest month in two years.
Many do not remember, but in 2013 for example, News 2 (currently 12) closed the year with an average viewing time of 24% for the main edition (with a ratio similar to that found today in News 13 – 2.5 times more than Channel 10). The company’s flagship program “Ulpan Shishi” with Kushmero then recorded in February in the days after the election, a figure of 22.1%. Today, half of that is perceived as a reasonable achievement.
Three years ahead, in 2016 the main edition of News 2 maintained dominance with a double figure: an average of 22.1% viewing and compared to 10.9% for News 10. The two companies were even weaker compared to the year before which included coverage of the “Strong Cliff” events: in 2014 The average viewing of News 2 is about 23.7% and News 10 about 11.1%.
The 2021, News 12 will end at best with an average of only 17%.
In the case of the competitor News 13, the situation today is so bad that it is no longer clear where else to go. But how is it that the abandoners of News 13 have not passed into their hands? The words (worn) are “tribal bonfire”. It is clear that the main edition of News 12 still leads by a large margin of at least twice as much as the competitor. The framing and stage of News 12 in its ability to set and change an agenda.
But it is equally clear that something bad is happening to the powerful news company in Israel, which has lost almost a quarter of its power within a decade, according to a Walla! Brenze.
After a delay due to the Corona and Bibi, the decline is already here
Even after deducting the company’s turmoil in the transition between distributors, channels and owners, it is difficult to pinpoint one reason for the decline in viewing volumes, but it is easy to determine that it is clear and distinct, and that it first and foremost characterizes the growing weakness of linear commercial television. Streaming and VOD platforms. The weakening trend of commercial channels in Israel is not new, although it is lagging behind that of the Western world. In fact, 2019 was a turning point in which over 50% of viewers did not watch prime time on commercial channels, but consumed their content on other channels.
It can be cautiously estimated that had it not been for the corona, which has made news a basic need in the most practical way, the situation of news companies today might have been much worse.
Some also link the decline to a lack of political “thrills” such as those provided by Netanyahu and Trump, during their tenure, as opposed to the “dryness” of provocations in the new governments. During the Trump era the major American broadcast networks recorded viewing records, and the NYT also enjoyed a record of new subscribers. Gilat Bennett is probably not singing Netanyahu, and will not be tempted to scream at a journalist or take laundry bags abroad anytime soon. This may be good for the country, for ratings a little less.
But the global trend can not give the only explanation for the decline. There are other probable reasons, including the anomaly that developed in the Israeli television market of the lengthening of the current affairs strips, chief among them the lengthening of the news edition to an hour and a half. These tracks, which start at 3:00 PM and reach prime time, are cheap to produce and therefore profitable, but they probably create congestion and wear and tear among viewers. When there is no danger that tomorrow the school will be in isolation – there is also no need to watch the news.
Extending the edition damages the product
Beyond being cheaper to produce than a mega-reality or drama, the extension of the edition should increase its ratings, since as the hour approaches the frame the ratings increase. However, according to data from the rating committee (see graph), the company fell by 5.4 points in a decade. One possible explanation then is that the extension of the edition has harmed the overall product, even at the journalistic level. It is true that prime time data has dropped at an even higher rate, but some people think it has dropped because of the news as well. Which is a result and not just a cause.
This is the place to compliment News 12, which in the past year has apparently understood the erosion, and has invested in a series of quality and in-depth articles, of a length that does not seem like it. It is not really trivial that half an hour in the frame will be dedicated every evening to Ohad Hemo’s magazine on Israeli Arabs or by Yair Shrek on the cuts in student benefits – articles that sometimes require half a year of photography. It’s not that the company has stopped doing lite articles, but they are done much less than once.
In the background of the publication of the discussion that the second authority will hold on a survey it commissioned, from which it emerged that most of the public prefers shorter editions, there has been a public debate, especially on social networks, about the need to shorten editions. In other words: the public is fed up.
Arrogance and intoxication of power?
These are all mostly technical sections. But is it possible that together with the seniority, power and distinct leadership from its inception, the news company has sunk into arrogance, not to mention power intoxication? The latter two, as is well known, are the number one causes of managerial and journalistic degeneration. It is difficult to argue with the professionalism and experience that the managerial backbone of the company, which has been headed for many years by CEO Avi Weiss and VP Guy Sudri, has brought with it. In the same breath it is hard to argue about the fact that every person, in any competitive position, finds it difficult over time to stay alert when there is no relevant competition in front of him and when the news flows to his door with almost no effort. An edition like the one that was for ten or the one that has News 13 today with a market share of a third at best, does not really meet that business need.
Indeed, it seems that in recent months the company has been plagued by a series of editorial glitches that at best indicate a problem. Faults that once doubted would have happened twice a month. Partial list: The scoop flop on Merav Michaeli’s trip, the bizarre poll on Dafna Liel’s Likud functionaries, Ofer Hadad’s article about the Palestinian who set fire to a house to slander Jews, criticism by panel members at Ulpan Shishi of MKs who failed the law to extend The rape kits when the law was passed, the publication of a recording of Prime Minister Bennett – which turned out to be old, a false impression as if Netanyahu had already left Balfour, but in practice he left two days later and an interpretation that it took Olmert weeks to leave the official Balfour residence. All this in just half a year.
Added to this is the unreasonable criticism of the fact that in the last 12 years, Netanyahu devoted himself to leaks from Balfour and Balfour that opened an edition, and now that this oxygen pipe has been silenced, a different profile of work is required of them.
But these are feelings, sometimes petty, that can be said to stem from eye trouble and jealousy of writers. One fact is hard to disagree: News 12’s current affairs tracks are based on an unimaginable amount of promos for the main purpose of the broadcast day – the Prime Time strip. Promos and items aimed at promoting owner plans (Rainbow and Network) have always been, even before the split of Channel 2, and the Union. But it seems that the nail that has been stuck on the timeline and hit the company the hardest is paradoxically actually a rainbow takeover of the news company. On the one hand, the transition after years to the ownership of one body, certainly one with deep pockets like that of a bow, has led to a lull and the possibility of producing long-term projects. On the other hand, it seems that more and more disappearing hands are turning a large part of Keshet’s pre-prime broadcasts into one big promo strip. Without getting into the ethical-legal aspect of the issue, suddenly a common grip as it was in the past – of two competitors creating healthy tension – seems like a better solution to maintaining journalistic independence.
News 12: “Data presentation unrelated to reality”
News 12 responded: “Unfortunately, the presentation of the data is not related to reality and misleads readers. In the last decade, the edition has lost only 10 percent and not as written. Moreover, in the number of viewers there is even an increase of 20,000 Israelis exposed to the edition For the 12th news on an average evening.
It should be noted that there is indeed an increase in the number of viewers in the main edition, but the population of Israel has increased significantly in the last decade – from 7.7 million to 9.3 million, a much larger increase.