Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish new year — and Yom Kippur (which follows ten days later) are together called the “High Holidays.” They are among the most important and holiest days of the Jewish year. For over 2,000 years, the High Holidays have been celebrated as a time for judgment, remembrance, and teshuvah (“return” or “repentance”). While every other Jewish holiday commemorates a transition in nature or a historic event, the High Holidays don’t — they focus on people and their relationship with God.
So in honor of Rosh Hashanah: The Jewish New Year we thought it would be fun to dig up some fun facts about communications, the media, social media and the like as they relate to Israel. Enjoy these 12 fun facts below – and Happy New Year for all those celebrating the high holidays!
Communications Facts About Israel
1) Israel has more foreign journalists per capita than any other nation on earth.
2) Israel receives more media coverage, per capita and per square foot of land, than any other nation on earth.
3) There are 22 daily newspapers published in Israel. 11 editions of these are Hebrew, 5 are Russian, 4 are English, and 4 are Arabic. There are also French and German editions available.
4) There are 17 Broadcast TV stations in Israel and 92.6% of the households have a TV in them – which makes Israel rank 24th in the world in terms of television ownership.
5) In 2011, Israelis watched an average of 232 minutes (almost four hours) of TV a day, putting it third behind the US and UK in terms of TV viewership.
6) Due to several allegations of media bias on either side, the press coverage of the Israeli-Palestine conflict has received more complaints of partisanship than any other news topic in the world. There are 22 media watchdog groups that are dedicated to monitoring the reliability of the press coverage about Israel and Palestine.
7) The most popular Facebook Page in Israel is that of Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman, who has over 1 million Facebook likes in a country of 7.6 million people and 3.4 million Facebook Users. That means 1 in 3 FB users in Israel are fans of Natalie Portman!
8 ) In the Freedom of the Press Report, an annual study published the US based NGO Freedom House, Israel’s press is ranked as the most “free” in the Middle East and North Africa. Israel had a rating of 29 (the lower the score, the more free the media.) Comparatively, the world’s most free press was in Finland (a score of 10) and India’s score was 35 (Partly free status)
9) Similarly, in the Press Freedom Index, published by Reporters Without Borders, Israel ranks globally as 92nd in terms of press freedom. In the same report, India is ranked 131.
10) The history of the press in Israel began in 1863, with the establishment of two Hebrew weekly newspapers – Ha-Levanon and Havazzelet.
11) Since 1986, the Israeli Government has allowed private and commercial media outlets to compete with the State Run media.
12) According to a recent ComScore study, Israel is the world’s biggest user of social media. Israeli’s spend an average of 11.1 hours on social networking sites per week – this is higher than the US (6.9 hours) or the UK (7 hours) and more than double the global average of 5.7 hours!