Arab Women are Interviewees in Less than 1% of Media Broadcasts

Arab women account for less than 1% of the people interviewed as experts by mainstream Israeli television and radio stations, according to a new project set up to monitor Arabs’ exposure in the electronic media.

Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) interviewed by the Knesset Channel

Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) interviewed by the Knesset Channel

The project, called Madad Hayitzug (“Representation Index”), is published by the media criticism website “Seventh Eye.” It measures how many Arabs are interviewed as experts by Israel’s leading radio and television news programs by surveying the top 19 programs in the mainstream electronic media. The current study covers March-April 2016, which included International Women’s Day.

TV Channel 2 had the lowest percentage of Arab interviewees of all the media outlets studied, which also included Channel 1 and Channel 10 television, Israel Radio and Army Radio. Channel 2’s news shows hosted 1,870 interviewees, of whom only 46, or 2.5%, were Arabs. Moreover, only three of those Arabs were women. The media outlet that gave the most exposure to Arab women was Israel Radio in which the main news programs, including Haboker Hazeh, (“This Morning”), Seder Yom (“Agenda”) and “Hakol Diburim” (“All Talk”) interviewed 1,920 persons, but only 57, or 3% of the total, were Arabs. However, a third of those Arabs – 19 people – were women. The outlet that gave the most exposure to Arabs overall, however, was the Army Radio station whose main news programs, “Nachon Lehaboker” (“Jump into the Morning”) and Ma Bo’er? )”What’s the Rush?”), interviewed 807 persons, of whom 45, or 5.5%, were Arabs. But here, only eight of those Arabs were women.

On television, the station that interviewed the highest proportion of Arab women was Channel 10. Its news programs interviewed a total of 2,119 persons, of whom 80, or 3.7%, were Arabs, while 13 of these were women. The state-owned Channel 1 television interviewed 2,027 persons on its news programs, of whom 76, or 3.7 percent, were Arabs, but only seven of them were women. Altogether, Arabs accounted for only between 2% and 3.5% of the total number of experts interviewed by the mainstream electronic media, even though they constitute nearly 21% of Israel’s population. And excluding Knesset members, the proportion of Arab interviewees shrank to only about 1.5% on the average. Overall, the 19 programs surveyed during March-April 2016 hosted 8,743 interviewees, of whom only 304, or 3.4%, were Arabs, but of these, only 50 were women, just over half of 1%!