Being the fourth branch of government, the media plays an important role in monitoring the authorities and protecting individual rights, and at its best is supposed to serve as the watchdog of democracy. The media also plays a key role in promoting liberal values and democratic codes, which is why we consider it a partner and seek to strengthen it and make it as free and detached from foreign interests as possible.
To this end, we initiated the advanced training project for editors and news desk reporters, especially those in charge of phrasing headlines and “push notifications” in news sites. The seminars addressed the various ways in which the rights of members of various groups in Israeli society are violated, discussed freedom of the press in the populist era, the fake news phenomenon, and online incitement, and assessed the state of Israeli democracy.
Regarding the exclusion of minority groups, it was imported for us to illustrate to the participants the ways in which media coverage might increase hostility, reinforce stereotypes, and encourage incitement, and enhanced their knowledge and familiarity with the subject matter and with the factual basis they need in order to formulate egalitarian and tolerant attitudes. In addition, the seminars gave media people with like-minded values an opportunity to meet, discuss their work challenges, and strengthen their sense of professional mission.
Hence, this paper deals with the numerical and substantive underrepresentation of minority groups and marginalized populations. It is based on the lectures presented in the seminars, as well as on the opinions of the media people who took part in them.