The Media – Part 2 – The Press

The following is the second post on the Media.

In my last post I introduced the first aspect of the general subject of this unit:

The Radio

Today we will discuss another aspect:

The Press


Let’s talk about it.

  • Do you read a newspaper regularly?
  • Which one? Justify your choice.
  • What are the differences between the main daily papers in Israel? 
  • What section do you read first?
  • What changes would you make in the paper?
  • Have you ever written a letter to the editor?
  • What is the value of this part of the paper?
  • Do you approve of  censorship? In what cases? Explain!

Helpful Vocabulary

approach   –   גישה

political view   –   השקפה פוליטית

public opinion   –   דעת קהל

criticism   –   ביקורת

privacy   –   פרטיות

reputation   –   מוניטין

freedom of the press   –   חופש העתונות


Reading Passage 

The following passage is about freedom of the press.

Read the  passage and then answer the questions that follow.

1. Freedom of the press is one of the fundamental principles in any democratic society. Hardly anyone questions the role of newspapers in providing reliable information to the public. Free press, however, has its price and readers often wonder whether certain reporters are interested in publishing the truth or getting a “scoop” in order to sell more newspapers.

2. Lately, it has become quite depressing to read the Israeli papers. There are hardly any news items. Everything seems to deal with corruption, violence and crime. Very little is written about national achievements like progress in the fields of education, science and industry.

3. In totalitarian countries, however, newspapers are very “positive” and encouraging. Everything is wonderful, beautiful, successful. If a local airplane crashes, it is not necessarily reported because it may cause alarm and distress. There is no room for bad news in the newspaper since it is demoralizing.

4. Actually, in both cases, matters are neither as good nor as bad as they appear in the newspapers. Although the articles in the newspapers are basically true, reporters sometimes tend to overemphasize the negative aspects and as a result, the picture may come out distorted.

5. The reason is quite obvious. Bad news is more interesting. A divorce will always draw more attention than a wedding and an airplane crash will attract more readers than a detailed report of the newest method of irrigation in the Negev. People like “action” and that is what newspapers try to supply.

6. What is a good newspaper? A good newspaper owes its reputation to serious, responsible journalists who offer full, reliable information regardless of its effect on the public’s morals. A good newspaper should try to present a balanced picture, a true mirror of our reality. The paper should not be all black or all white. It should contain different shades of grey, as life does.


1. The words Hardly anyone questions the role of newspapers in providing reliable information…(paragraph 1) mean that:

a. Most people think the information in the paper is not reliable.

b. Most people think the information in the paper is reliable.

c. The role of the newspapers is questionable.

d. Newspapers must provide reliable information.

2.  What does the word price (paragraph 1) refer to?


3. Complete the following paragraph – one or two words in each space – (paragraph 2).

Reading an Israeli paper has lately become ———————————————–. It is hard ————————————————– any cheerful news items. Most of ————————————————- is about corruption, violence  and crime. There is —————————————- about national achievements like progress in industry, science and ———————————————-.

4. What kind of news don’t newspapers in totalitarian countries publish (paragraph 3)?


5. Why does the author criticize the “positive news” in totalitarian countries (paragraph 3)?


6. Complete the following sentence (paragraph 3).

Newspapers in totalitarian countries don’t publish bad news since it may ———————————————————————————-

7.  What do the words in both cases refer to (paragraph 4)?


8. Complete the following paragraph – one or two words – in each space (paragraph 4).

Life in totalitarian countries is —————————————- from the way —————————————- in the papers. It is certainly not as good as the reporters claim ———————————————-. On the other ——————————–, things in Israel are not as bad as  ——————————————- in the papers either.

9. Give two examples of good news mentioned in paragraph 5.

a. ————————————————————————————–

b. ————————————————————————————–

10. Explain the meaning of the last sentence of the passage:

It should contain different shades of grey – as life does (paragraph 6).


Language and Vocabulary

Choose the most suitable word in parentheses.

When I read the (news, day, daily, favorite) paper, I usually go (on, through, by, from) the following routine: First I read the front (page, section, column, headline). Then, knowing the latest news, I throw a (quick, quickly, soon, latest)  glance at the economic (point, headlines, essay, section). I don’t know (nothing, much, many, everything) about stocks and bonds, but I feel that if I read at (least, late, last, final) one short article on finances (on, this, all, a) day, it may help me make my (final, fine, first, last) million. People say that only the first one is a (pleasure, question, problem, fortune) and that once you have (done, made, this, it), the others are sure (will, would, to, and) follow. After the (economic, economical, sports, political) section, I move quickly to the middle (headlines, articles, editions, pages) and I enjoy the (nice, actor’s, celebrity, latest) gossip. I usually skip the sports section (since, while, although, yet) I can hardly tell the difference between one soccer team and the (another, other, best, worst). Finally, I check the evening (new, programs, commercials, drama) on T.V. even though I am pretty sure that I will turn the T.V. on at 8 and switch it (out, on, off, back) at midnight, no (important, importance, problem, matter) what is on.

And that’s all for today. More  texts and suggestions in my next post. 

Lea 🙂



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