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      IMW Awards Encourage Media to Participate in Media Criticism

      Israel’s Media Watch gave out its annual awards on Sunday. IMW Chairman: We've made progress but there's more work to do.
      By Elad Benari and Yoni Kempinski
      First Publish: 2/21/2011, 5:58 PM / Last Update: 2/22/2011, 5:17 AM

      Israel’s Media Watch gave out its annual Abramowitz Israeli Prize for Media Criticism in a special ceremony that took place on Sunday.

      “This is a prize that was established by our Finance Minister who was then President of Israel's Media Watch, Dr. Yuval Steinitz,” explained Professor Eli Pollack, chairman of IMW. “The idea is to encourage reporters and media people to understand that media criticism is important and to participate in this process.”

      This year’s prize was given to the satirical website Latma and to journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

      “Latma’s satire is completely different than the existing satire in Israel today,” said Prof. Pollack, explaining the reasoning behind the choices. “Khaled Abu Toameh has done a wonderful professional job without letting his own opinions out. You don’t know what he’s thinking. He’s just giving you the facts and that’s incredibly important.”

      Other award winners this year include economic journalist Nechemia Strassler and Maya Ben-Aharon, who received the prize for an academic work of excellence in the field of media review for her PhD thesis on the relationship between the media and the public during the First Lebanon War.

      “Media review is ‘in’ today and everybody understands that it’s important,” noted Pollack. “The public’s attitudes are much more accepted today. The media is much more responsive to what the public is saying than previously.”

      Despite this fact, said Pollack, IMW should still be working hard. “We should certainly make more progress and we’re working on that,” he said. “You can help us just by giving us your e-mail address. The more people we have on our list, the more our word comes out and the more that we can do.”

      For more information on Israel’s Media Watch and to join the mailing list, visit www.imw.org.il.