Proposed bill in Israeli parliament would ban distribution of free newspapers – Washington Post

The Jerusalem Post reports on the bill, which would apparently also apply to newspapers that aren’t free but are seen as too cheap:

The text of the bill, proposed by MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor), Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi), Elazar Stern (Hatnua), Ariel Attias (Shas) and Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid), says it seeks to “strengthen written journalism in Israel and ensure equal and fair conditions of competition between newspapers.”

“The result of free newspapers is that every wealthy person can influence public opinion in Israel,” Cabel said. “Free newspapers also hurt journalism as well as pluralism and democracy in Israel.”

The bill defines a free daily newspaper as one that is given out without payment six days a week and applies only to the four newspapers with the highest circulation in Israel, whatever they may be at a given time. The lowest-priced newspaper of the four cannot cost less than 70 percent of the second-lowest-priced paper, according to the bill.

As such, the legislation targets Israel Hayom, the pro-Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu paper owned by his major supporter and donor Sheldon Adelson, who also contributes to Republican candidates’ campaigns in the US.

Thanks to Eugene Kontorovich for the pointer.


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