Press Center Praised by Reporters

Praise for Israel was almost unanimous among the hundreds of journalists who used the two special press centers set up in the capital during the three days of President Carter’s visit.

The main center, at the Jerusalem Theater, which housed scores of telex machines, typewriters, and broadcasting booths, was established in addition to a smaller communications network set up at the Jerusalem Hilton Hotel to accommodate the White House press corps. This included 180 American reporters, broadcasters and technicians. The reason given for the establishment of the second center was its proximity to the Americans’ living quarters at the hotel.

While the lay-out of the Jerusalem Theater is more or less suited to accommodate the large number of journalists that was not the case at the Jerusalem Hilton. There, a teleprinter machine rested in a bathtub, while a bed nearby held additional equipment. Single rooms were converted to broadcasting studios and telex machines and typewriters were crowded on the hotel’s lower floor.

The services provided by the center were extensive and well-organized. The Government Press Office provided almost instantaneous translation copies of statements made to the press, while Israel Television’s extended coverage of the Carter visit’s highlights was transmitted over dozens of TV sets in the center.

Journalists lauded the Communication. Ministry for its efforts in establishing the center, praise which seemed especially cogent considering the reporters’ less fortunate efforts in relaying information from Egypt. A Communication Ministry official noted that a large number of written news reports and taped radio spots were brought to Israel from Egypt on Saturday by journalists accompanying Carter because the hour or so wait was compensated for by the superior service facilities in Israel.

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