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Reclassifying Soft and Hard News Culture Specific Findings or a Reflection of Gender?
Unformatted Document Text:  be made regarding the nature of this trend, if fleeting or not, some indicators provide evidence of a long term trend. For example, the discovery of an inverse bias (men/women “soft”/”hard”) specifically among the IDF Radio population, which is younger than “The Voice of Israel” population, may certainly support the approach which believes that women’s preference for “hard” news is not incidental or temporary but may embody the future model in news practice. This change may be part of a larger transformation which is destined to impact the entire news system, entailing a dynamic dialogue and modification of the media map as new factors enter the practice of news in Israel. At the same time, we should qualify this by the fact that in Israel, news reporting and listening to the news are activities which carry a special significance. This sociological situated ness is grounded in the unique local atmosphere in Israel, where news values are directly related to the security situation or terror and this are afforded the highest priority. As a result, no room remains for the expressions of preferences rooted in the gender of decision makers. In “normal” countries, however, where the current events do not concern constant threats to individual security or the survival of the nation as a whole, different findings relation to the distinction between “hard” and “soft” issues by gender may emerge. The findings of the present study, based on the news products of the radio – which is many ways is the most dynamic of all media - indicate that this unique medium has paved the way as a pioneer in identifying a gender effect in the media. A summary of the findings points to the significance of expanding studies focusing on the news, on the media and on gender, especially studies which examine the issue from a multi- dimensional perspective, both on a national and international level. In other words, it is not sufficient to conduct studies which examine the perceptions and attitudes of media professionals. Nor is it sufficient to conduct studies which focus exclusively on media products, just as a study of work patterns in a single media organization is insufficient. Furthermore, no inference can be made from one medium to another. Consideration should be given to the impact of the type of medium on the gender effect and its identification. Needed are more comprehensive studies which investigate this issue from different aspects and vantage points, both in terms of attitudes and perceptions and on the level of practice, including the examination of organizational and social dimension and audience perceptions, all which affect and shape the work of media professionals.

Authors: Lavie, Aliza.
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be made regarding the nature of this trend, if fleeting or not, some indicators provide
evidence of a long term trend. For example, the discovery of an inverse bias
(men/women “soft”/”hard”) specifically among the IDF Radio population, which is
younger than “The Voice of Israel” population, may certainly support the approach
which believes that women’s preference for “hard” news is not incidental or
temporary but may embody the future model in news practice. This change may be
part of a larger transformation which is destined to impact the entire news system,
entailing a dynamic dialogue and modification of the media map as new factors enter
the practice of news in Israel. At the same time, we should qualify this by the fact that
in Israel, news reporting and listening to the news are activities which carry a special
significance. This sociological situated ness is grounded in the unique local
atmosphere in Israel, where news values are directly related to the security situation or
terror and this are afforded the highest priority. As a result, no room remains for the
expressions of preferences rooted in the gender of decision makers. In “normal”
countries, however, where the current events do not concern constant threats to
individual security or the survival of the nation as a whole, different findings relation
to the distinction between “hard” and “soft” issues by gender may emerge.
The findings of the present study, based on the news products of the radio – which is
many ways is the most dynamic of all media - indicate that this unique medium has
paved the way as a pioneer in identifying a gender effect in the media. A summary of
the findings points to the significance of expanding studies focusing on the news, on
the media and on gender, especially studies which examine the issue from a multi-
dimensional perspective, both on a national and international level. In other words, it
is not sufficient to conduct studies which examine the perceptions and attitudes of
media professionals. Nor is it sufficient to conduct studies which focus exclusively on
media products, just as a study of work patterns in a single media organization is
insufficient. Furthermore, no inference can be made from one medium to another.
Consideration should be given to the impact of the type of medium on the gender
effect and its identification. Needed are more comprehensive studies which
investigate this issue from different aspects and vantage points, both in terms of
attitudes and perceptions and on the level of practice, including the examination of
organizational and social dimension and audience perceptions, all which affect and
shape the work of media professionals.


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