Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office will acknowledge the growing power of bloggers by providing writers of the most popular blogs with press passes, according to Maariv. The initiative was first revealed at the Second International Jewish Bloggers Convention this week by PMO official Ron Dermer.

The press pass would allow the bloggers to enter press conferences and similar events.

The initiative will take some time to implement, Dermer said. Prior to handing out press passes, PMO officials will spend months investigating various blogs and determining which of Israel's popular bloggers should be offered credentials.

In the United States, where well-known bloggers sometimes draw more readers than do more traditional media outlets, bloggers have been receiving press passes for more than four years. U.S. President Barack Obama invited bloggers to post on his website during his campaign, and since he took office, the White House homepage includes a blog.

Blogging has traditionally received less attention in Israel. However, that trend is changing. Many blogs received heavy traffic during the Cast Lead counterterror offensive in Gaza earlier this year, as their writers gave up-to-the-minute reports from cities under attack.

Jewish bloggers are also taking their own power more seriously, by gathering at events like the Bloggers Convention to exchange tips of the trade and learn more about their potential as bloggers and as de-facto reporters from Israel.