JERUSALEM, Israel — A strong majority of Israelis who have an opinion believe the media is biased against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That's the finding of a new survey conducted for the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, ahead of DIGIT, an annual journalism conference held in Israel.
The survey showed 58 percent of those who expressed an opinion believe the media is anti-Netanyahu. The prime minister is facing four separate investigations by the police, and the police have recommended indictment in two of the cases. Netanyahu maintains he is innocent of any wrongdoing and that he is a victim of media "persecution." Polls show his Likud party leading if the country were to have new elections.
The Maagar Mochot Research Institute survey also revealed that a plurality in Israel believe the media has affected the investigations. Older Israelis and those who are Jewish were more strongly convinced of the bias.
In reaction to the survey, Roy Katz, DIGIT Conference chairman, was quoted in Israel Hayom: "Israeli media should not and cannot cover the prime minister's investigations simply to cater to public opinion. Still, the public's faith in the media's motives and journalists' integrity will determine the media's relevance and impact."
The Maagar Mochot survey was conducted in March and has a 4.5 percent margin of error.