All but one Israeli news site gives prominence to Zoabi attack

Out of the main Israeli news websites, only Ynet decides to play down its coverage of the attack on MK Haneen Zoabi.

By Oren Persico

As opposed to all the other major Israeli news sites, only Ynet decidedly toned down on its homepage Tuesday’s attack on Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi, according to The Seventh Eye’s media survey.

The incident occurred around noon on Tuesday at a political conference attended by female members of Knesset, including Zoabi. During the attack, a right-wing activist poured juice on Zoabi’s face, while Joint List spokesperson Emilie Moatti was hit over the head with a flagpole. Most of the Israeli news sites responded quickly to the event, giving placing it prominently on their respective home-pages. After all, it’s not every day that a member of Knesset is attacked in front of dozens of cameras.

Mako, affiliated with Channel 2, put the attack as their top story at 12:15 p.m. (“Water and shoving: MKs attacked at elections conference”). At 1:30 p.m. the headline was changed to reflect the fact that Zoabi was the one attacked. The article remained as the top story until 4:15 p.m.

The Walla! News site published a piece on the incident as its top story at 12:30 p.m. The site published a photo of Zoabi cleaning her face 15 minutes later. The story remained in the top slot until 4:30 p.m., and was followed by a piece on the attorney general’s instructions to probe far-right politician Baruch Marzel, who praised the attack.

Ma’ariv’s website, owned by The Jerusalem Post, also put the story up top at 12:30 p.m., with the headline, “Watch fight at women’s conference: Water bottle poured on Zoabi.” The headline was later changed to reflect that the water was, in fact, juice. The article remained in the top spot until 3:45 p.m.

Nana10, affiliated with Channel 10, put its article up at 1 p.m., although it didn’t make the top spot. An hour later, the editor changed the order of the articles on the site and the attack on Zoabi hit the top, staying there until 3:45 p.m.

The Haaretz website published an article relatively late, at 1:30 p.m., although it did give it prime real estate, mentioned Marzel’s incitement and remained there until 4 p.m.

NRG, which is owned by Israel Hayom, didn’t put the Zoabi piece as its top story. The article went up at 1 p.m. under the top story, remaining there until 4 p.m. The top story, as expected, was about Netanyahu’s Congress speech.

The Israel Hayom website took its time to respond to the event — a regular occurrence regardless of the story — with the piece only appearing at 3:30 p.m. The article didn’t originally get there top spot, although it was moved there 45 minutes later, until the homepage was freshened up at 5:45 p.m.

Ynet, however, was rather quick in publishing a piece about the incident. It’s placement on the site, however, was far from the top spot. An article about the attack appeared on the homepage at 1:15 p.m., but you need to scroll down pretty far to find it.

Meanwhile, Ynet’s top story was about an argument between Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, followed by a story on Liberman’s stance regarding Netanyahu’s speech.

Among the articles placed above the attack against a Knesset member, you could find: an article about a man who robbed a 67-year-old woman; a piece about the worst election campaign videos of 2015; a video showing women soldiers dancing to hip-hop on their base; recipes for hamantaschen and a batch of gossip articles.

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