Rosh Hashana – 5783 – Yearly Summary of Tazpit News Agency
- Sunday, September 16, 2012, 12:38
A year ago, Tazpit’s activities were entirely based on volunteer work and were limited in scope. A year ago I ended my tenure as director of the student village in Migdalim and focused all my attention on the development of Tazpit.
I had the privilege of meeting Mitch Knisbacher as I began my work as director of Tazpit. Mitch became closely acquainted with our efforts and our aspirations, and generously agreed to support us, thus enabling Tazpit to progress and develop.
Since then, a year has passed, and this is the proper time to summarize Tazpit News Agency’s activities.
The Israeli Division:
The division incorporates within its responsibilities the management of information and news, management of the photographers, working to document all news events in Israel.
During the past year the pool of volunteers has grown by almost five times, from 30 to 140. Some of the new photographers were trained by Tazpit in special courses given throughout Judea and Samaria: Chevron, Dolev and Eli. A new course will soon begin in Gush Etzion. Our photographers are successful in documenting many events. Some of photographs we took changed the picture.
- AishKodesh: during his speech in the UN on September 2011, Abu Mazen blamed Israel for killing an innocent Arab in his backyard that day. Tazpit’s photos proved that the “innocent” Arab attacked a small group of 6 soldiers, together with another 200 Arab rioters. One of the soldiers was wounded by stones. The photos proved that the soldiers acted in self-defense.
- Grenades hurled at IDF soldiers – a Tazpit photographer documented Arab rioters throwing tear gas grenades at IDF soldiers at NebeTsalach. The documentation is rare and a first of its kind. The documentation demonstrates the clear and present danger posed by these repetitive attacks on IDF soldiers. These attacks are, of course, not documented by Arab news agencies.
The agency’s connections with the various Israeli news agencies have strengthened. The frequency of the publication of our photos and news items in the media has grown throughout the year. There is an increase in the number of times Tazpit News Agency is mentioned in the media, generating a greater influence on the news’ content.
Tazpit’s events –we celebrated in January two years of Tazpit’s activities. Tazpit’s volunteers were invited together with media figures who work with Tazpit on a regular basis. The attendance was impressive, showing us how much we have established ourselves in the Israeli media.
Tazpit Recon Unit –we established Tazpit’s recon unit a few months ago. The unit’s objective is to document the anarchists and Arabs activities against the IDF. The unit is comprised of combat unit veterans who enter Arab villages, arriving at all flashpoints, documenting the riots, thus eliminating the possibility of anti-Israel organizations presenting edited and biased footage to the media.
The Southern department – as part of our expansion we have opened a southern department, and we intend to open a northern department in the coming year. Photographers in the south document the ongoing events there, supporting various organizations.
We officially established the International Division in January of 2012, with the understanding that there is a vacuum regarding Israel advocacy abroad, and that Tazpit’s contribution as the only Israeli news agency would be tremendous. Aryeh Savir is the director, and was joined by Anav Silverman, a reporter. Media outlets across the world joined our list of recipients, and today we publish several articles a week.
After only 8 months of activity I am proud to tell you that we provide news materials to outlets in Australia, England, Europe, USA and Canada, and we have recently begun to send out news items to Pakistan. We are published in four languages, and hope to expand.
As the Jewish year draws to an end and a new one begins it is a good time to step back from our endeavors and evaluate them. We think we can look back with great satisfaction on the past year.
Message for the International Division:
We started our international activities this year, distributing high quality news pieces to international news agencies. We rapidly expanded, our materials being translated into three different languages on four cotenants. Publishing good news about Israel in German is of much significance, but I think our leading achievement in this category is our partnership with the Pakistani news agencies, and chiefly Weekly Press Pakistan (WPP). For the first time in Israel’s history Urdu-speaking Muslims from Central and South Asia are reading positive news about Israel, coming from Israelis. The responses from Pakistani journalists have been overwhelming.
We have covered a wide range of topics, touching on numerous issues in our articles. Our first article was about Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria and the medical support they provide to the local Arab residents. This article was subsequently used by the Israeli Government’s Press Office (GPO) to counter Palestinian allegations that Israel did not provide adequate medical care to Palestinians wounded in a car accident. We covered security and political issues, sports, environment, arts and entertainment, the IDF, tourism, life in Judea and Samaria. The articles are unique in their positive take on Israel, highlighting the Zionist and pro-Israel perspective.
Other articles along a similar vein have been published in the US’s Huffington Post, the largest Jewish French news site, JSS, the Canadian Jewish Tribune, the Israel-Nachrichten in German, alongside the WPP in Urdu.
Tazpit has set its objective to provide positive and un-biased news to the world – and we think it has achieved doing exactly that!
As for the coming year – We hope to continue to expand and grow, reaching more outlets, new places and new languages, bringing the good news about Israel to the world.
We would like to thank all those who supported us in the last year. Our debt to you is great.