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Fake intimacy: Strategies of engagement in Israeli gossip columns
Unformatted Document Text:  phenomenon, debuting in 1963 in the news magazine Haolam Hazeh [this world]. 2 In March 1963 the editor decided to add a gossip column, called Raxel ha-meraxelet [Rachel, the gossip-monger]. 3 Decorated with pictures of Israeli rich and famous, the column consisted of stories about their private lives and love affairs. Politicians were rarely included; it is only in the middle 1990s that Israeli politicians began to be considered as celebrities and their personal lives received some attention. 4 Despite its pioneering effort, it was not Raxel ha-meraxelet but Zippora [woman’s name, the word means a female bird] in Hadashot [News] who set the tone for Israeli gossip columns. This tabloid format national daily was published form 1984 to 1993, and when it closed the column and logo “moved” to one of Tel Aviv’s local newspapers. In September 1986 the weekend magazine featured a new column, Zippora with a caged bird (see figure --) as its logo. In July 1992 another daily, Maariv, began publishing a gossip column, which appeared until October 1999. The other major daily, Yediot Aharonot [“latest news”] began publishing its gossip column, Shlihut Katlanit [“lethal mission”], in December 1994 until November 2001. 5 The typical Israeli gossip column includes a great number of dot-items (sometimes over thirty), brief stories called aytemim in Hebrew. Each item reveals a “scoop” about our current cultural heroes. The information is mostly personal, telling us 2 Haolam Hazeh was a pioneering magazine in many ways: it was an anti-Establishment magazine, not related to any political party, and publishing stories other media withheld. It was also the first Hebrew Magazine to have back cover nude photographs. See Caspi and Limor 1992, 1999. 3 The Hebrew word meraxelet literally means “female gossiper” the assonance with the name Raxel was the reason for choosing the title of the column. The column continued to appear weekly until the magazine closed in January 1993. 4 This is related to changes in the Israeli election system, as well as to the opening of new channels of communication. 5 Though no daily national paper had gossip column in 2002, gossip columns continue to prosper in magazines and in local press (see Caspi and Limor 1999). The two large dailies, Maariv and Yediot Aharonot have each a daily column with stories about national figures.

Authors: Schely-Newman, Esther.
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phenomenon, debuting in 1963 in the news magazine Haolam Hazeh [this world].
2
In
March 1963 the editor decided to add a gossip column, called Raxel ha-meraxelet
[Rachel, the gossip-monger].
3
Decorated with pictures of Israeli rich and famous, the
column consisted of stories about their private lives and love affairs. Politicians were
rarely included; it is only in the middle 1990s that Israeli politicians began to be
considered as celebrities and their personal lives received some attention.
4
Despite its pioneering effort, it was not Raxel ha-meraxelet but Zippora [woman’s
name, the word means a female bird] in Hadashot [News] who set the tone for Israeli
gossip columns. This tabloid format national daily was published form 1984 to 1993, and
when it closed the column and logo “moved” to one of Tel Aviv’s local newspapers. In
September 1986 the weekend magazine featured a new column, Zippora with a caged
bird (see figure --) as its logo. In July 1992 another daily, Maariv, began publishing a
gossip column, which appeared until October 1999. The other major daily, Yediot
Aharonot [“latest news”] began publishing its gossip column, Shlihut Katlanit [“lethal
mission”], in December 1994 until November 2001.
5
The typical Israeli gossip column includes a great number of dot-items
(sometimes over thirty), brief stories called aytemim in Hebrew. Each item reveals a
“scoop” about our current cultural heroes. The information is mostly personal, telling us
2
Haolam Hazeh was a pioneering magazine in many ways: it was an anti-Establishment magazine, not
related to any political party, and publishing stories other media withheld. It was also the first Hebrew
Magazine to have back cover nude photographs. See Caspi and Limor 1992, 1999.
3
The Hebrew word meraxelet literally means “female gossiper” the assonance with the name Raxel was the
reason for choosing the title of the column. The column continued to appear weekly until the magazine
closed in January 1993.
4
This is related to changes in the Israeli election system, as well as to the opening of new channels of
communication.
5
Though no daily national paper had gossip column in 2002, gossip columns continue to prosper in
magazines and in local press (see Caspi and Limor 1999). The two large dailies, Maariv and Yediot
Aharonot have each a daily column with stories about national figures.


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