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Reclassifying Soft and Hard News Culture Specific Findings or a Reflection of Gender?
Unformatted Document Text:  organizations should be seen as producers of cultural artifacts which appeal to mass markets. This tension characterizes the “re-thinking” of the 1990s, regarding media organizations. The integration of entertainment elements in the news reflects the prevalent intention of media organizations which seek to maximize their profits (Limor and Nussek, 2001), even to the extent of appointing MBA graduates as directors of news departments (Underwood, 1993). Methodology The present article examines the issue of gender and the media through a case study of news magazines and current affairs programs of two national radio stations in Israel – “The Voice of Israel” and “IDF Radio”. Both stations, which are public, are the only stations to broadcast news magazines and current affairs programs (all other radio stations in Israel are illegal (“pirate”) enterprises or regional-local stations which are typically not engaged in current affairs broadcasting). In Israel, radio is a medium which plays a significant role in the leisure activities of the public and enjoys high listening rates. News magazines and current affairs programs on public Israeli radio, the subject of this study, benefit from a unique status in Israeli political-cultural and social discourse. Israel is considered a country of avid news consumers (Katz et al., 2000). The study outlined herein sought to examine various dimensions of radio news products and how these are affected by gender. The study aimed to explore both attitudes and perceptions, on one hand, and actual media products on the other, as well as the relationship between them. Accordingly, two separate data sources formed the study population of the present study, each of which sheds light on a different facet of radio practice in the context of the topic under investigation: The Editors – this group was comprised of 41 professionals involved in the editing and production of news magazines and current affairs programs on both radio stations (employed in the following positions: editor, broadcaster, producer, topic director and the directors of both radio stations). This group encompassed approximately 80% of all employees engaged in editing and production of news magazines and current affairs programs on both radio stations, between January 1997 and January 1999. This group was surveyed using a closed questionnaire, which subjects were requested to

Authors: Lavie, Aliza.
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background image
organizations should be seen as producers of cultural artifacts which appeal to mass
markets.
This tension characterizes the “re-thinking” of the 1990s, regarding media
organizations. The integration of entertainment elements in the news reflects the
prevalent intention of media organizations which seek to maximize their profits
(Limor and Nussek, 2001), even to the extent of appointing MBA graduates as
directors of news departments (Underwood, 1993).
Methodology
The present article examines the issue of gender and the media through a case study
of news magazines and current affairs programs of two national radio stations in
Israel – “The Voice of Israel” and “IDF Radio”. Both stations, which are public, are
the only stations to broadcast news magazines and current affairs programs (all other
radio stations in Israel are illegal (“pirate”) enterprises or regional-local stations
which are typically not engaged in current affairs broadcasting). In Israel, radio is a
medium which plays a significant role in the leisure activities of the public and enjoys
high listening rates.
News magazines and current affairs programs on public Israeli radio, the subject of
this study, benefit from a unique status in Israeli political-cultural and social
discourse. Israel is considered a country of avid news consumers (Katz et al., 2000).
The study outlined herein sought to examine various dimensions of radio news
products and how these are affected by gender. The study aimed to explore both
attitudes and perceptions, on one hand, and actual media products on the other, as
well as the relationship between them. Accordingly, two separate data sources formed
the study population of the present study, each of which sheds light on a different
facet of radio practice in the context of the topic under investigation:
The Editors – this group was comprised of 41 professionals involved in the editing
and production of news magazines and current affairs programs on both radio stations
(employed in the following positions: editor, broadcaster, producer, topic director and
the directors of both radio stations). This group encompassed approximately 80% of
all employees engaged in editing and production of news magazines and current
affairs programs on both radio stations, between January 1997 and January 1999. This
group was surveyed using a closed questionnaire, which subjects were requested to


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