New Free Daily Hebrew Newspaper Launches

By: E&P Staff

A new free daily Hebrew newspaper celebrated its launch Sunday, The
Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel Hayom distributed 150,000 copies in bus and train stations yesterday. The ultimate goal of the paper is to reach a daily circulation of 300,000.

To demonstrate its seriousness in reaching this and other goals, the paper
will sell advertisements only to non-profits for its first month in print,
the Post reported. Additionally, distribution of the paper will include the
unusual tactic of placing copies in private mailboxes, as well as the normal
placement in transportation hubs.

Writers for Israel Hayom include Dan Margalit, who left his position as
columnist for Ma?ariv to join the free daily.

There is already controversy surrounding the launch of Israel Hayom.
According to the Post, the free daily is being bankrolled by Sheldon
Adelson, an American casino mogul who has close ties to former Israeli Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Amos Regev, the editor-in-chief of Israel Hayom, is also a close associate of the former prime minister.

Professor Eli Pollack, the chairman of the non-profit watchdog group Media Watch, told the Post that he was concerned that the Israeli free daily was being ?bankrolled by one person with connections to a political figure.?

However, the arrival of a Hebrew free daily is important enough that qualms about the paper?s possible political stances have been momentarily allayed among critics.

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