Organization of journalists and heads of television news sent a message this morning to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: Please allow journalists to pose questions to the Prime Minister on the subject of the coronavirus during his public statement.
"Since the outbreak of the corona crisis, the Prime Minister taken care to make statements to the public and update citizens about the steps and new instructions fruit decisions," they said. "The TV channels and news releases are taking valuable time for a live broadcast of these statements, with the understanding that information is of paramount public interest and this is information that is of enormous importance to all citizens of the state."
They added: "We appeal to you as journalists who work every day and night during this crisis like nights to report, tell the stories, give commentary, bring voices from the field in Israel and around the world, explain, interview and convey the best and best information of the public at this time in particular, no less than usual."
"At the same time, we are concerned about the fact that the prime minister does not allow journalists to ask questions during these media events, to the prime minister himself, nor to any of the other speakers," they noted.
"The organization of journalists is addressing you, the Prime Minister, on behalf of all the journalists in Israel and together with the heads of the television news companies - Channel 12 News Director Avi Weiss, Channel 13 News Director Yisrael Twito, Head of the News Division of the Kan Broadcasting Corporation, Baruch Shai - Please allow journalists to present questions.".
"Journalists are public servants. Public statements are important as they have important information and interest to the public. But it is impossible to undermine the importance of sharing with the press and journalists during these public questions and to ask questions," they emphasized.
The journalists mentioned: "In many countries around the world - such as the United States, France, Germany, Denmark and more - leaders make sure to allocate time and access to journalists' questions with the understanding that this is an important service to the public. We expect that in Israel, too, in the face of such a dramatic crisis, media outlets will be equitably allowed to present questions to the prime minister and other parties leading the crisis, so that journalists and media outlets can properly serve the Israeli public."