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January 04, 2009

IDF and New Media

idf spox.jpg

The Jerusalem Post reports that Israel's army has caught on to the world of Web 2.0:

The IDF has spent the past six months learning to fight a different kind of media war, developing a capacity to take its message to the 'new media,' a general term for a wide variety of on-line social networking, user-generated news and personalized content sites.

"In terms of communicating our message, new media is the future," Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu, the IDF's spokesman, told The Jerusalem Post.

Benayahu has overseen a new orientation in the spokesman's unit toward these on-line outlets, even taking his unit's senior officers to an intensive new media workshop at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya in mid-2008. This has translated into a profusion of new initiatives across the Internet.

A YouTube channel established by the IDF a day after the fighting began has become the second-most popular channel on the popular global video-sharing site, drawing over 386,000 page views in the first half of Thursday alone.

Meanwhile, the IDF has been in regular contact with over 50 major American blogs covering the fighting.

ithin Israel, a new video-on-demand channel will launch over the weekend on the HOT cable network carrying nothing but IDF footage from the fighting. Even Israel's major cellular companies, Pelephone, Cellcom and Orange, will begin offering the army footage over 3G cell phones in the coming days.

As for the IDF's upbeat assessment about media coverage, we suspect the army must have missed heavily biased reports such as this one by CNN.

Posted by TS at January 4, 2009 03:37 AM


A week ago in Yediot Ahronot there was an article which featured the Arabic spokesman for the IDF. He is frequently on the Arabic cable stations and apparently holds his own quite well. He also has a YouTube page which features all of his media appearances and is frequented by people in Arab countries. I tried to find his page, but I think that it is on the Arabic version of YouTube.

Posted by: Michael P. at January 5, 2009 03:10 PM

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