Our Media Initiative was launched with the goal of changing Israeli society’s perceptions of Ethiopian Israelis. In this framework, we work to change the quantity, quality, and terminology of Israeli media content and increase positive representation of Ethiopian Israelis in the media in a way that will dramatically change misconceptions among nationwide consumers – and particularly influential figures, policy makers, and key
figures in the employment world.
We use various methods to promote the suitable representation of Ethiopian Israelis
in the media:
Recruiting senior media professionals – study tours to Ethiopia:
We establish close partnerships with senior media professionals and recruit them to promote our vision through the operation of study tours to Ethiopia. These tours provide the media personnel with an up-close view of the Beta Israel community, its history, heritage, challenges, and daily life in Israel from a new and vital perspective.
Over the years, over 30 senior media professionals from Israel’s leading media institutions took part in our study tours to Ethiopia, which proved to be life-changing for all participants. They return to Israel with a better understanding of the Ethiopian Israeli community and a commitment to increasing positive and accurate exposure of the community in the media. They go on to be active in creating numerous opportunities to increase positive coverage of Ethiopian Israelis within their media institutions, while also educating their colleagues through carrying out workshops and lectures led by Olim Beyahad’s staff. We maintain ongoing work relationships with our network of media professionals and hold an annual conference with them to further collaborations.
Promoting the Use of Proper Terminology:
The quality of the media’s coverage of Ethiopian Israelis is influenced by textual and visual content. As such, we developed useful tools to improve the language used when covering Ethiopian Israelis in the media. Together with a content expert, we created a glossary of recommended terminology when covering Ethiopian Israelis and hold workshops for media personnel to raise awareness to commonly used manners of negative and stereotypical coverage. We also encourage and assist them in leading their media institutions in using suitable coverage, representation, and framing when covering Ethiopian Israelis in various contexts.
Viral Video Clips:
Social networks have a major impact on social discourse in Israel. As such, we produce and publicize video clips that break stereotypes and provide food for thought on important topics, such as high quality employment, breaking social stereotypes, suitable media representation, and more. Through this, we strive to encourage productive social discourse and create a widespread change in perceptions.
We actively approach media institutions to initiate and encourage positive representation of Ethiopian Israelis in print and digital media. We work to expand the quantity and quality of media appearances of Ethiopian Israelis on various general topics and, through this, create a change in public perception and dissolve stereotypes.
Research is an essential tool to developing our internal and external actions and interventions in the media. We measure our results for in-house learning purposes, as well as in order to fine-tune our work with our media partners. We work with the “Ifat Group” – Analyzing and Processing Media Information, which closely measures and monitors the coverage of Ethiopian Israelis in Israel’s mainstream media, with an emphasis on the quality and quantity of representation. This systematic research assists us in developing influential strategies to create a widespread impact in the media, and helps us fine-tune our day-to-day work, as well.
Media Training for Ethiopian Israelis
We work with communications and acting schools with the goal of increasing the number of Ethiopian Israelis employed in the media. Among our key partners are Beit Zvi Acting School (Israel’s leading school for aspiring actors) and Make Media (a Communications School affiliated with Keshet 12).
Training Youth to Pursue Careers in the Media
This program is geared towards Ethiopian Israeli teens approaching their IDF enlistment and provides tools and guidance as they begin the IDF’s screening process with the goal of enabling them to do meaningful army service. We provide individual guidance, group training, workshops, and lectures by media professionals who previously served in Galei Tzahal Army Radio or the IDF’s spokesperson unit, with the goal of assisting participants in integrating into these units – both of which are springboards for media professionals where many leading media professionals got their foot into the media world.