Area Handbook for Israel

By Harvey H. Smith; Frederica M. Bunge et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 16
PUBLIC INFORMATION

In 1968 the country had a well-developed network of communications media. According to official sources, more than 74 percent of all households had radios. The 24 daily newspapers circulated some 150 copies for every 1,000 inhabitants and were available even in relatively isolated areas. Each person attended an average of 25.5 film shows a year; they were offered by commercial theaters and by mobile film units operating throughout the country. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the country ranked second in the world for the number of book titles published in proportion to the population.

In addition to furnishing news and information, the media are extensively used to further the assimilation of the diverse cultural backgrounds of the inhabitants, to promote the study of Hebrew, to aid in the adjustment of new immigrants, and to enhance feelings of national cohesion and patriotism. This information policy, exercised through the Cenrtal Office of Information and the Government Press Office, is fully supported by newspaper editors, film producers, and book publishers.

Newspapers are privately owned and are free to express a variety of political, ideological, and religious views. They are responsive to government guidance, however, in matters relating to national security and to the country's foreign relations. Publication of items affecting military security is forbidden. Newspapermen cooperate in exercising voluntary restraint to exclude material that may jeopardize the country's interests.

The skills of communications media are put to intensive use by a highly literate (about 90 percent in at least one language among the Jewish population) and interested public. The press provides intellectual stimulation for political debates and offers a wide range of educational and cultural information. A little less than half of the daily newspapers are published in foreign languages to serve the needs of their recently immigrated readers, whose knowledge of Hebrew is in the beginning stages. In the cities most Israelis read, in addition to the major dailies, one or more newspapers reflecting their political views or printed in the language of their country of origin. Many, however, prefer the radio as a source of news.

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Area Handbook for Israel
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • COUNTRY SUMMARY vii
  • Contents xi
  • SECTION I. SOCIAL 1
  • Chapter 2 - PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT 13
  • Chapter 3 Historical Setting 29
  • Chapter 4 - POPULATION 55
  • Chapter 5 Ethnic Groups and Languages 67
  • Chapter 6 Social Structures 75
  • Chapter 7 Family 89
  • CHAPTER 8 - LIVING CONDITIONS 98
  • Chapter 9 - EDUCATION 113
  • Chapter 10 - ARTISTIC AND INTELLECTUAL EXPRESSION 131
  • Chapter 12 - SOCIAL VALUES 153
  • SECTION II. POLITICAL 163
  • Chapter 14 - POLITICAL DYNAMICS 187
  • Chapter 15 Foreign Relations 209
  • Chapter 16 - PUBLIC INFORMATION 221
  • Chapter 17 - POLITICAL VALUES AND ATTITUDES 239
  • Chapter 18 - BIOGRAPHIES OF SELECTED KEY PERSONALITIES 255
  • SECTION III. ECONOMIC 273
  • Chapter 20 Agriculture 285
  • Chapter 21 Industry 299
  • Chapter 22 Labor 311
  • Chapter 23 - DOMESTIC TRADE 333
  • Chapter 24 - FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS 345
  • Chapter 25 Financial and Monetary System 357
  • SECTION IV. NATIONAL SECURITY 369
  • Chapter 27 - PUBLIC ORDER AND INTERNAL SECURITY 397
  • Index 447
  • PUBLISHED AREA HANDBOOKS 457
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