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Fake intimacy: Strategies of engagement in Israeli gossip columns
Unformatted Document Text:  are targeted for those who are part of the scene and know all the code “in” words, as well as for those who live in the periphery, both social and geographical. The columnist task is to find ways to reach all types of audience, provide them with “scoops” or at least challenge them into deciphering enigmatic messages. Consider the following examples: 1. Zippora is devastated. More than two weeks have gone by and nothing from Assi and Semadar. (Sep 26, 1988). Assuming that the reader knows who Assi (Dayan, movie actor) and his wife Semadar (Kiltchinsky, also an actress) are, we learn from one sentence an entire story. Hearing nothing from Assi and Semadar is “news” because their relationship has been loud and tumultuous, to say the least. Zippora assumes this is common knowledge, and therefore there is no need for further information. What is different in this item, compared to other news, is the personal voice of Zippora, who, just like any do-gooder gossiper, inserts her personal opinion. Like a good gossip buddy “she” shares her evaluations with us. Thus, while reporting “objectively” that all is quiet on the Dayan-Kiltchinsky front, we are also provided with a judgmental evaluation, the essence of good gossip. We can be assured that Zippora will not rest and continue to serve as our eyes and ears on the scene, and make sure that our “royal couple” (at the time) continues to behave as expected, i.e., lead a scandalous life. The character of Zippora, however, is the figment of imagination of Hadashot editor; nevertheless, “she” behaves like a real person, with wants, needs, thoughts and feelings. 8 In the first column ever published we read that Zippora is “concerned,” 8 It has been rumoured that the column was named after the weekend magazine editor, Zippi Kampinsky. The name also refer to the saying Zippor ktana lahasha li (a little bird wispered to me).

Authors: Schely-Newman, Esther.
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are targeted for those who are part of the scene and know all the code “in” words, as well
as for those who live in the periphery, both social and geographical. The columnist task is
to find ways to reach all types of audience, provide them with “scoops” or at least
challenge them into deciphering enigmatic messages.
Consider the following examples:
1. Zippora is devastated. More than two weeks have gone by and nothing
from Assi and Semadar. (Sep 26, 1988).
Assuming that the reader knows who Assi (Dayan, movie actor) and his wife
Semadar (Kiltchinsky, also an actress) are, we learn from one sentence an entire story.
Hearing nothing from Assi and Semadar is “news” because their relationship has been
loud and tumultuous, to say the least. Zippora assumes this is common knowledge, and
therefore there is no need for further information.
What is different in this item, compared to other news, is the personal voice of
Zippora, who, just like any do-gooder gossiper, inserts her personal opinion. Like a good
gossip buddy “she” shares her evaluations with us. Thus, while reporting “objectively”
that all is quiet on the Dayan-Kiltchinsky front, we are also provided with a judgmental
evaluation, the essence of good gossip. We can be assured that Zippora will not rest and
continue to serve as our eyes and ears on the scene, and make sure that our “royal couple”
(at the time) continues to behave as expected, i.e., lead a scandalous life.
The character of Zippora, however, is the figment of imagination of Hadashot
editor; nevertheless, “she” behaves like a real person, with wants, needs, thoughts and
feelings.
8
In the first column ever published we read that Zippora is “concerned,”
8
It has been rumoured that the column was named after the weekend magazine editor, Zippi Kampinsky.
The name also refer to the saying Zippor ktana lahasha li (a little bird wispered to me).


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