Alona Bar-On: We must pay for quality information

Alona Bar-On  photo: Shlomi Yosef

"Globes" co-owner Alona Bar-On told the Israel Business Conference she believed high-quality, trustworthy journalism could be profitable. 

"We live in a reality in which the power of the social networks, fake news, and the subordination of media organizations to vested interests, have led to a justified crisis of confidence between the public and the media," Alona Bar-On, chairperson of "Globes" and one of its controlling shareholders, said today at opening of the "Globes" Israel Business Conference.

Bar-On, who completed the acquisition of "Globes" last year together with her family and Anat Agmon, talked about the acquisition process and her plans for the newspaper.

"Last June, our partner Anat Agmon, my family and I bought Globes in an acquisition process that was long, complicated and sometimes also painful. I underwent many difficulties that forced me to think deeply and define for myself what I want Globes to be, and why indeed one should buy a newspaper in Israel in 2017. Why throw good money after bad?," Bar-On said.

Bar-On criticized the position that the media had reached. "In a world in which information has become more complex, the media have created closed clubs of editors and reporters who know it all, and refuse to give a 360 degree view." Concerning "Globes", she said, "It's important for us to change things and be influential, but we have no personal agenda or economic interest. We believe in the importance of high-quality, trustworthy journalism. We think that it's also possible to make profits from such journalism."

Bar-On said the way to making "Globes" profitable lay in a "return to basics". "Since Donald Trump branded fake news as the disease, the public has begun to realize that it needs to pay for the cure, which is high-quality, unbiased, independent information. This is the basis of the product that we produce, and will produce, at Globes," she said, adding, "Strong, effective media are important to all of us, and all of us want to raise the level of trust between the media and the public. We have to work together to that end, and understand that there is also a price we all have to pay."

At the end of her remarks, Bar-On also commented on the first Israel Business Conference under "Globes'" new ownership. "My father, the late Haim Bar-On, held the first Israel Business Conference 30 years ago. For a decade, the conference took place at Binyanei Hauma in Jerusalem, before moving to Tel Aviv.

"This year, as part of the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, we are excited to be closing a circle and to return to Jerusalem. The theme of the conference reflects "Globes'" strategic direction - to deal with breadth and complexity. To every thesis there is an antithesis, for every position there's an opposing position. Our challenge at "Globes" is to create a discourse that reflects and respects conflict. We are presenting a wide range of topics and viewpoints, and we shall try to discuss them from different and enlightening angles," Bar-On said.

Bar-On also took pride in the high representation of women at the conference: "I am proud to present an unprecedented statistic for a conference of this kind: 43% of the speakers are women. This is still a little less than our proportion in the population. It is still the case that not all communities are represented here as we should wish, but we promise to continue the effort to bring variety to the discourse and the 'club'."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 10, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Alona Bar-On  photo: Shlomi Yosef
Alona Bar-On photo: Shlomi Yosef
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