New Article: Magen, Media Strategies and Manipulations of Intelligence Services

Magen, Clila. “Media Strategies and Manipulations of Intelligence Services. The Case of Israel.” International Journal of Press/Politics 20.2 (2015): 247-65.





Existing research on the relationship between Israeli intelligence services and the media is limited and fragmented. This work attempts to fill in the gaps by shedding light on four main strategies that have been commonly implemented by the Israeli intelligence community: ambiguity and concealment of media relations, the “if you would only know” strategy, exploiting patriotism and cooptation, and information manipulations and psychological warfare. These strategies were utilized frequently by Israel’s intelligence services, and thus have had an impact on the intelligence services’ accountability. However, significant changes in Israel’s society and media have created new challenges to the intelligence services in the public sphere. This study examines these changes and differentiates between the organizations within the intelligence community, domestic and foreign, which, facing differing challenges, tailor different methods for addressing the media as a result. This paper is based on several years of research and a large database of literature, media coverage, and in-depth interviews with key figures in Israel’s intelligence community (former Mossad and Israeli Security Authority directors), senior journalists, and politicians.

Lecture: Nossek, Military Censorship as a Protector of the Freedom of the Press


5/4/15 – 5:30pm
14A Washington Mews, 1st Floor

Dr. Hillel Nossek

The Israeli Paradox:

Military Censorship as a Protector of the Freedom of the Press


Although the state of Israel is a democracy, military censorship has been in use since its establishment in 1948 and is still imposed. This lecture will analyze the theoretical and practical grounds for military censorship in Israel based on an agreement between relevant parties: the government, the army, the media, and the public. Analysis of Israeli military censorship reveals that military censorship is not necessarily the enemy of the media and the public’s right to know. On the contrary and paradoxically, we show that in Israel’s case, military censorship not only performs its task of preventing the publication of information that threatens the national security, at times it sustains the country’s freedom of the press, freedom of information, and the public’s right to know.  Several case studies, including recent ones, will be analyzed to sustain the basic arguments presented in the lecture.


Hillel Nossek is Dean of the School of Media Studies and a professor of communications at The College of Management, Academic Studies (Israel). He is also the Head of the Mediated Communication, Public Opinion and Society Section of the the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR). He has published books and articles in various fields of research such as political violence, terrorism and media, news, social and cultural implications of Israel’s new media map with emphasis on reading in the age of multi-channel communications. Prof. Nossek is currently serving as a Visiting Scholar with the Taub Center for Israel Studies at NYU.

RSVP by E-mail.