Kudos to my friend, Aryeh Green, who runs MediaCentral a Jerusalem center providing support services for journalists based in or visiting Israel, the Palestinian territories and the region.
The media has a difficult job researching and reporting the news at the best of times and in the most friendly of environments. In a foreign country, in the midst of often-violent conflict, a journalist faces numerous obstacles to efficient and effective reporting. Unfamiliar language(s), cultural barriers, changing players, deadlines geared to home-country clocks, potential physical dangers and other issues combine to make reporting from the region a tremendous challenge.
MediaCentral has been set up as a non-profit, independent, media-liaison service organization offering what are perhaps the three most important elements in journalism:
MediaCentral offers a friendly place to work in downtown Jerusalem, with free or low-cost services including:
WiFi access & printer/fax facilities, etc.
Continual news feeds on 4 wide-screen TVs
Sources for stories being pursued (experts, primary sources, analysts, interviewees)
Field Tours to locations of interest – Sderot, Golan & the North, Security Barrier, etc.
Story-lines and materials for new stories
References and contacts – photographers, translators, drivers, guides, etc.
Periodic updates, briefings, analysis – in a range of languages
Translations of breaking news and critical materials
Drop-in lounge with coffee/tea/drinks & snacks
“Helping hand” services/info – logistics, contracts, what’s hot, what’s not
“TGIT” – Thank Goodness It’s Thursday end-of-week briefings every Thursday at 4pm (with free beer on tap) – on various topics, in a number of languages
Via these services and others, MediaCentral provides a warm and welcoming, professional and efficient ‘base-camp’ for the foreign press. Our goal is to ensure comprehensive, impartial coverage of Israel, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the region; our approach is open, direct and needs-based. We are confident that accuracy is Israel’s best ally, and therefore strive to simply help journalists achieve their own goals of understanding and reporting the facts and providing insightful analysis, in cooperation with both Israeli and Palestinian partners from the government and NGO sectors.
Aryeh comes to Media Central with an extensive background in strategic communications in both the public and private sectors. For many years, he has been a senior advisor to Natan Sharansky, former Member of Knesset and Deputy Prime Minister, working to combat anti-Semitism and to promote democracy in the region. Since 1990, Green has worked or served as a business consultant for leading companies in Israel and abroad, including ECI Telecom, Aladdin, Audiocodes, Finjan, Lannet, Moto Guzzi, Pfizer, Bank HaPoalim and others. He is a noted public speaker and has lectured in universities and before numerous groups in Israel, North America and Europe.
Green is originally from Washington D.C. and San Francisco, and moved to Israel with his wife, Katie, from London, in 1984. He holds a BA in psychology from UC Berkeley, an MA in international relations from Hebrew University, and an MSc in business management from Boston/Ben Gurion Universities. He has been published in Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Israel21C, Washington Jewish Week, SF Northern California Jewish Bulletin, Israel Insider, and on his blog at http://aryeh-israel.blogspot.com and makes wine from the Beit-Shemesh/Adulam region.
Avital Goihman, media services coordinator, speaks five languages – Hebrew, English, French, Spanish and Russian. After completing her BA in journalism and Latin American studies at the Hebrew University, Avital held an internship with France 24, helping to launch the new channel in Israel. During her IDF service, she was a group leader and tour guide for volunteers from around the world who came to serve in the IDF. Outside her duties at MediaCentral, she makes time to go dancing and out to movies.
MediaCentral is a service established at the initiative of HonestReporting. With charitable status in Israel and the USA, MediaCentral is made possible through individual charitable donations and the Solelim Fund of The UJA Federation of New York.
MediaCentral is a not-for-profit project, supported by people around the world who care about accuracy. Contributions can be sent to HonestReporting (a 501c(3) US non-profit and the initiator of the center), at 520 8th Avenue, Suite 2004, New York, NY 10018, or to 8 Harav Kook Street, Jerusalem, 94226, Israel.
Donations can also be made online at https://www.honestreporting.com/a/securedonate.asp
(Please indicate that the donation is for MediaCentral.)