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Sixty Years of Army Broadcasting in Israel: The Anomaly of Galei Tzahal

November 22, 2011
12:00PM - 01:30PM

Annenberg School for Communication, Room 300
3620 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Categories: Seminar

Israel’s Army Radio (Galei Tzahal) has been broadcasting for sixty years with programming aimed at the civilian population. From a marginal station playing just a few hours a day, it has become a major broadcasting organization that operates two full radio channels and provides news and political coverage. It is also considered one of the most influential training grounds for journalists and media figures in Israel. Using extensive archive materials and in-depth interviews with the station’s commanders, Soffer examinse how military broadcasts—ostensibly foreign to the democratic experience—have become a symbol of pluralism, journalistic freedom, and (in some historical periods) the cultural avant-garde in Israel. He also analyzes how the station has adapted to changes in the developing Israeli media.

Oren Soffer is a senior lecturer at the Open University of Israel, and is currently a visiting scholar at MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program. Oren earned his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2002. In the same year, he was accepted as a member of the Israeli Bar Association after completing his legal studies at Tel Aviv University. Oren has served as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, taught as a visiting scholar at Rutgers University and held a lecturer position at Manchester University (U.K).

His research interests include the socio-political and technological history of Hebrew mass communication. In recent years, Oren has also been engaged in the study of new media, using historical analysis to better understand and theorize new textual and social phenomena. His current study in this area deals with comparative and theoretical conceptualization of language in the digital era (SMS/CMC languages).