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U.S. intel likes Israeli media

U.S. intelligence agencies published a favorable, extensive review of the Israeli media.

“Israel boasts a dynamic, aggressive, and ever-changing Hebrew- and English-language media dominated by three conglomerates that control the mainstream press and commercial television,” said the Sept. 16 report by the director of National Intelligence’s Open Source Center. “The scope of permissible reporting is wide, and there is a broad range of published material. While the media remain subject to military censorship on matters affecting issues of national security, the advent of the Internet and 24-hour satellite broadcasting has lessened the censor’s clout.”

The tone of the 76-page report is at times one of bemusement in dealing with Israel’s free-for-all atmosphere.

“Journalists in Israel are allowed unfettered access to Knesset members,” it says. “They can approach any politician in the Knesset cafeteria, talk with them on a first-name basis, and telephone them on their personal cellular phones and at home.”

The CIA, which supervises the Open Source Center, has not authorized the release of the report. Secrecy News, a publication of the Federation of American Scientists, obtained it and published it Monday.

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