Pornification Series: Trinny and Susannah

TV style gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine are launching tomorrow an Israeli version of What Not To Wear. Admittedly, I am anxiously waiting to see how the two will brilliantly make over the natives in an inevitable collision course between The Holy Land and Britannia. I was less than happy, nevertheless, to find out the name of the television series will be ‘Trinny and Susannah do Israel‘ (‘Trinny ve Susannah osot et Israel‘).
That’s right, Channel 10’s executives went with the Debbie Does Dallas reference, ‘coz even independent women who have jobs are nothing more than whores, a couple of dressed-up porn stars on the tube.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wuFMQnU6z4

Fashion Faux Pas by Israel’s Channel 10 News Reporter

Channel 10 News’ reporter Shelly Tapiero (left) interviews Rinat Abergil (right) on the morning of her husband’s extradition in order to face criminal charges in the US. Notice how similarly dressed are the interviewer and the interviewee:
[singlepic id=279 w=448 h=336 float=center]
I heard about crime reporters getting too familiar with the criminals they cover – but this is getting ridiculous.

Channel 10 News Presents: Reheating Leftovers From Yesterday’s TV Dinner

Two weeks ago Channel 10 News’ Miki Haimovich conducted an interview with Nobel laureate Ada Yonath. The following day, Channel 10’s morning show re-edited the interview to make it look as though the morning hosts Haim Etgar and Sivan Cohen are conducting the interview themselves. This was recently mentioned in Yediot Ahronot but I thought I would create a video to demonstrate this journalistic atrocity:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSzzTPSAwGM

Now people may ask “What’s the big deal? Instead of this person doing the interview, you get that person”. Well, I contend that this is a big deal since unlike other professions like advertising, sales or law where honesty is no longer expected – in journalism, credibility is currency. We don’t expect our newsmen to lie to us – not intentionally, not wittingly – and finding out otherwise is disheartening.

Update: You can read in Hebrew about this incident here, here and here.

Israel’s Internet Society Asks Members to Send Suggestions by Fax

Every now and then I stumble upon an idea that is just too Israeli to write about in English. In these rare instances I guest blog on Room 404 in Hebrew. That is what happened yesterday, when I got a snail mail from the Israeli Internet Society in preparation for the annual conference, asking me and other members to send ideas by fax. Send by fax? I thought that was strange and worth mentioning. And so I did.

Apparently someone at Israel’s Channel 10 also thought it was worth mentioning, as they contacted me today to confirm the accuracy of my post. A couple of hours later it was broadcast on Hayom Shehaya, their nightly news program with Guy Zohar:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bL0hV3_fFo0

Israel’s Channel 10 News Brave Enough To Make Fun of Itself

Channel 10’s Friday news magazine Shishi raises the standard of reporting each week, literally writing the book on how a news magazine should be done. Anchormen Raviv Drucker and Ofer Shelah‘s segment ‘On The Road’, which turned the traditional in-studio interview into a-day-out-with-the-interviewee report, has already been copied by Channel 1’s Ayala Hason and Ben Caspit – including the famous Statler-and-Waldorf-like embedded commentary. In addition to the outstanding ensemble of reporters that the show sports, it is famous for its self-awareness, self-criticism, and a fair amount of ‘process stories’. Shelah and Drucker often criticize the Israeli media, always starting with their own place of work.

The recent security situation in the region triggered the Pavlovian media response of rolling news reports, and when you mix a barrage of rockets, satellite latency, and loads of air time – inevitably you get a fair share of on-camera bloopers. Leave it to Shelah and Drucker to end their show on a lighter note with a compilation of the channel’s reporters supplying a week’s dosage of self-deprecating humor.

The video is in Hebrew but most of it is self-explanatory:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ_3yt5csQI

Tonight on Your Evening News: Cast Lead and Must Leather

Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it is a bit too cold to hate
Wars don’t happen in winter anymore
Even for us it’s a bit too cold to conquer
 
   – – “Big Hero” by Si Himan (translated from Hebrew)

Channel 10 anchorwoman Miki Haimovich (right) and senior defense correspondent Alon Ben-David (left) modeling wartime leatherwear - December 28, 2008

I have already written on Israeli journalists playing dress-up, but that was during peacetime. Now that a new war might be imminent, it seems our journalists collectively decided to wear uniform in the form of leather jackets. I have been glued to the TV screen during the past few days, zapping between Channel One, Channel Two and Channel Ten – and it looks like one hideous leatherwear catalog from the 1990’s that magically came to life:

Leather by Gaza - Mixed Channels

We already knew soldiers have their standard operating procedures – but now we know TV newsmen have them too.
Continue reading Tonight on Your Evening News: Cast Lead and Must Leather

Analog News Editors In A Digital World – A Case Study

There are four major methods used on TV to obscure a person’s face so that he would not be recognized:

  • Pixelization: during editing, a video graphics filter is used to lower the resolution of the footage
  • Black bars: during editing, a graphical element is superimposed over the footage
  • Extreme close-up: focusing during filming on a single facial feature, such as lips or eyes
  • Silhouette: adjusting the camera exposure during filming so that the person appears totally black

The latter method was used during yesterday’s evening news, in a pre-taped press conference. Since this was not a live broadcast, there was no reason for any slip-up, and for the most part I could only see the silhouette of the woman talking. But when some still photojournalists used their camera flash, it lit the entire room and for a split second revealed the face of the woman.
Now perhaps during the 1990’s this kind of incident would not amount to much, since you could not rewind live TV or use your computer to download the news – but those analog days are long gone, and it is about time people in the Israeli media would recognize that fact.

Since this is not the first time I have noticed the Israeli media dropping the ball on this issue, I thought I would present a case study of the three Israeli broadcast channels, examining yesterday’s cover of that news conference:

Continue reading Analog News Editors In A Digital World – A Case Study