Report Highlights Failure of Conveying Coronavirus Information to Chareidi Sector

Placards in Bnei Brak calling for residents to stay home, in April. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

The Knesset’s Research and Information Center, at the request of Shas MK Rabbi Michael Malkieli, examined the distribution of the government advertising resources during the coronavirus period.

The data revealed in the report paints a grim picture of a continuing failure by the government advertising bureau to direct information and advertising to the chareidi sector.

The report also reveals that the government advertising system is misunderstood to the point of ignorance regarding media consumption in the chareidi sector. The chareidi sector is under the category of “sectors” such as the National Religious, Russian, Ethiopian and Arab sectors, but while other sectors are also exposed to the general media, the chareidi sector only reads or sees the media outlets of their sector.

The result of the reduction in the volume of advertising in the chareidi sector is a lower exposure of that public to the directives of the Health Ministry and adhering to the guidelines.

MK Rabbi Malkieli, who initiated the examination of the data, will soon initiate an emergency debate in the Knesset, in light of the data that reveals a continuing lack of information regarding the fight against the coronavirus in the chareidi sector, which may have even cost lives.

“It is time for the government advertising bureau to be able to understand the chareidi media consumer and know how to reach the community. If they need help, they can contact us representatives of the chareidi public in the Knesset, so that we can explain to them in a professional and clear manner which media channels reach the community. I hope that the discussion we initiate will lead to a change in policy in the government advertising bureau and we will not have to use the tools of legislation and the like,” said Rabbi Malkieli.

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