Chanie Luz, founder of TADMIT (the Hebrew acronym for “strengthening of democracy in the Israeli media”), an Israeli media watchdog group, was awarded the 2013 Abramowitz Israeli Prize for Media Criticism by Israel’s Media Watch, an Israeli media monitor and research organization.
The prize is awarded annually to an “especially valiant, significant and qualitative contribution to media criticism in Israel,” as defined by IMW’S site. It is awarded for critical journalism, for providing and forming appropriate forums for media criticism, and for increasing pluralism and reducing monopolies in the Israeli media. The objective of the prize is to encourage the Israeli media to open itself to criticism, whether from the journalists themselves or external sources such as intellectuals, academics and public figures.
TADMIT, meaning perception in Hebrew, is a media watchdog group whose objective is to defend the rights of Israelis who are oppressed or persecuted by the Israeli media. The organization promotes an “open sky” policy which advocates for the expression of diverse opinions in the media, thus enhancing democracy in the state controlled or state owned media.
Luz told Tazpit News Agency that she was very glad to hear of this recognition of her endeavors. Luz, a resident of Beit-El, a mother of six and grandmother of one, left the high tech world to dedicate her time and efforts to what she terms the “Mind battle”: “There is a media war being waged within Israel against the communities in Judea and Samaria, a fierce battle strong enough to affect the agenda and policies of the government.”
Luz has opted to focus primarily on the mainstream Israeli public electronic media: “You can’t complain about the world media being biased against Israel, when they are only reiterating what they hear and see in the Israeli media regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, specifically in Judea and Samaria. The Israeli media is constantly slanting the news, concealing the facts and the truth. It ignores the ongoing daily terror against the Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria, while overreacting to graffiti in Arab towns, blowing them up to size an international catastrophe. I hope my reception of this prize will enhance the understanding that the Israeli media has a long way to go before it can present itself as free, balanced, all inclusive and fair source of information. The Israeli media acts as a governmental body, strongly influencing important processes within Israel, including the last elections, thus rendering the local democracy ineffective, to say the least. I will continue to promote fairer use of the media in Israel, and call to strengthen the Democracy in Israeli Media.”
Luz, who was elected to win the prize by the general public, wished to thank her family for their support over the years and to thank all the supporters of her work over the years, and those who voted for her venture as the most significant in the Israeli media watch-dog scene over the past year. She stated she was pleasantly surprised by their overwhelming support. She also thanked IMW, whose work over the past fifteen years she says she has respected and admired.