Guy Rolnik

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Guy Rolnik (born September 1968) is the Founder, creator and Founding Editor of TheMarker – one of Israel's most influential media organization in the last decade. Rolnik is also the Deputy Publisher of the Haaretz Group.

Rolnik is considered one of Israel's top journalists and editors. He is recognized by the organizations who gave him awards, as well as other journalists, as having a unique, independent and defiant voice in the Israeli press, standing up to Israel's most powerful business people, politicians and media.

Rolnik, a free market advocate is known for pointing out the many market failures in the Israeli economic system, both in the private and public sector, and the need to create values and a culture that promote productivity, effectiveness and equal opportunities.

In the last few years, Rolnik led a few journalistic campaigns that changed Israeli public discourse and the Israeli government's economic policies in many areas, mainly regarding structural reforms in the business and capital sectors.

Beginning in 2005, Rolnik set out on a campaign that included hundreds of columns, stories and features regarding the perils of the concentration of economic power in few hands in the Israeli economy and the danger is posed to competitiveness, prices, innovation and democracy. Pursuant to this campaign, in October 2010, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bank of Israel's Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer set up a committee tasked with formulating recommendations for increasing competitiveness and decreasing concentration in the Israeli business sector. Its final recommendations were published on February 22, 2012.

In 2009 Rolnik initiated a campaign advocating the introduction of competition in the cellular market, which was an important hub of profitability and power of Israel's biggest business conglomerates. Following this campaign, Minister of Communications Moshe Kahlon decided to open the market for competition. Following this decision, and after three years of the journalistic campaign, Israel's cellular bills dropped by fifty to ninety percent.

At the beginning of 2009, Rolnik warned against a plan that would help then-stressed Israeli tycoons bail out of their debts using tax payers' money. Following his commentary, the government decided not to cave in to the tycoons' demands and the pressures they generated using other newspapers.

On January 2011 Rolnik launched the "Israel 2021 Initiative", aimed at changing the Israeli public discourse, which was dominated by political and security issues. Rolnik called for more emphasis on economic issues and on long term planning. The two-day launch event was attended by 3,000 guests and hosted Prime Minister Netanyahu. The event's main feature was 175 roundtable discussions on 7 economic and social issues.

Later in the year, on July, the 2011 Israeli social justice protests broke out and the public discourse began to change. Many of the protesters used roundtables to have their discussions. Following the protests, Rolnik's ideas started to seep through to larger parts of the Israeli public. In the period since its launch, the Israel 2021 Initiative helped change the Israeli public discourse to the point that the 2013 Israeli general election campaigns focused more on economic issues.

In April 2012, Mako, a news website owned by Israel's leading television broadcaster Keshet wrote that Guy has "sprouting [...] – and most keenly relevant - pair of fangs in Israeli journalism" and added that "In these times, as it turns out how tycoons exploit us and pyramidal business conglomerates gobble our assets, and how government officials stand by them and not by us, Rolnik and his team are a courageous beacon of light in a media world bent by vested interests and their controlling shareholders. Well before the social-justice protests gained momentum, TheMarker had formulated its principles. When the masses took to the streets, Rolnik could fairly write to his readers, 'I told you so'.” [1]

As of 2014, Rolnik has been teaching a course in the Faculty of Management at Tel Aviv University on these economic issues, entitled the "Structural Issues in the Israeli Economy."[2][3]

Career[edit]

Guy Rolnik's (45) career started 26 years ago in the Israeli army when he was 18. He started as a reporter and less than a year after his military service began was promoted to be the economic reporter and later editor for the army radio station -the first one ever to hold this post without prior academic background (that he acquired only after he finished his Army service).

Immediately after his military service he joined Haa'aretz - Israel's leading newspaper (the New York Times of Israel) and by the age of 24 became the editor and head of the financial markets section. 4 years after he was nominated to the editorial board of the newspaper – the youngest ever board member. In 1999 Rolnik founded and led a new company – TheMarker that became Israel's most influential financial news company. 6 years later he sold his shares to Ha'aretz and became the deputy publisher. He led the editorial and business operations of TheMarker for 13 years as Editor-in-Chief and in the last 5 years focused on pushing and designing major reforms in the Israeli economy.

In December 2013 Rolnik was awarded the Sokolov Prize (Israeli Pulitzer) For lifetime achievement - the youngest ever Editor to get the award. The Award was for Founding TheMarker, Changing Israeli Media, changing public discourse in Israel and influencing the Government and legislators to undertake significant changes in the structure of the Israeli economy

Education[edit]

Rolnik has a BA degree in Economics from Tel Aviv University and an MBA from the Tel Aviv and Northwestern Universities’ Kellogg-Recanati program. He also graduated from Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program (AMP).

Jul 1996 – Tel Aviv University • B.A Economics

July 1998 – North Western University, Chicago and Tel Aviv University • EMBA – Kellogg-Recanati international MBA

Nov 2003 – Harvard Business School • AMP165 – Advanced management program

Jan 2014 - Fellow at the advanced leadership Initiative, Harvard.

Accomplishments[edit]

In June 2005 he received Israel’s Movement for the Quality Government’s “Knight of Quality Government” award. In its explanation for awarding Rolnik, the movement said that it was given to him “in gratitude for a unique contribution in the media for uncovering faults and in the public service, for a struggle against corruption and for the improvement of the quality of public sector. In his commentary, Rolnik raises the level of public criticism on the government’s behavior and underscores its importance to the improvement of the quality of government. By doing so he sets an example of quality to his colleagues in the media and to the Israeli society”.[4]

In July 2007 TheMarker was named the winner of the Platinum Effie Award for the most effective advertising or marketing campaign of 2007 in Israel.[5] The award followed the re-launch of Haaretz newspaper’s business supplement in January 2005 in compact size sheet and rebranded “TheMarker”. Rolnik accepted the reward on TheMarker’s behalf.

In January 2008 Rolnik was awarded a quality of economic journalism prize by Israel’s Society for the Public’s Right to Know.[6] In its explanatory notes, the organization wrote that “Rolnik is one of the best business journalists and commentators in Israel today. In his clear and challenging writings, Rolnik demonstrates civilian courage of the first degree and does not refrain even from writing about, and even attacking, influential elements in the Israeli economy”.

In December 2012 Rolnik was awarded was acknowledged by the Kinneret College for fighting the concentration of economic power and for his continued support of the July 2011 social protests.[7] In its statement, the college said that Rolnik "succeeded in creating an outstanding newspaper within a few years, constantly guiding its readers in the complex local and global economic and social environment and encouraging the adoption of social change".

Press Mentions[edit]

In February 2011, The New Yorker's Editor, David Remnick, published a story about Haaretz and Schocken. In his story Remnick wrote: "Under the leadership of a young, hyper-ambitious editor named Guy Rolnik, TheMarker brought a new, more youthful audience to Haaretz — one at least as interested in the high-tech industry as it is in the Palestinian issue — just as the worldwide newspaper crisis hit. TheMarker, which can be bought separately, has helped save the paper. Rolnik has been especially good at publishing investigative pieces on what he calls the 'Israeli oligarchs,' a small group of billionaires and their families who control much of the national economy".[8]

In March 2011, Daniel Doron, a leading Israeli economist and the director of the Israel Center for Social and Economic Progress, pointed out in The Jerusalem Post to Rolnik and TheMarker's uniqueness in Israeli media: "The strong bond between government and capital that developed here has a third partner, the media. Until recently, when Yisrael Hayom broke the mold, the media were a duopoly owned by the tycoons, and protected them (with the noble exception of TheMarker and its valiant editor Guy Rolnik, who, at great cost, leads the struggle against excess media concentration)".[9]

In October 2011, Israel’s leading broadcast television channel, Channel 2, aired a program dedicated to the previous Jewish year’s main events, the major one being the summer’s social protests. In it, the presenter emphasized TheMarker’s and Rolnik’s central role: “… the hundreds of thousands that took to the streets in the summer strengthened the ideological plight of TheMarker and its Editor-in-Chief, Guy Rolnik, against the concentration of economic power in the hands of few and against the nation’s tycoons. Even though it ranks only at number 4 in its readership, in the past months, TheMarker became Israel’s most influential newspaper".[10]

In December 2011, “The Source”, the leading investigative program of another television broadcast channel, Channel 10, also highlighted Rolnik’s significant influence on the Israeli economy. The program's anchor, Raviv Druker, said he "identifies" with Rolnik's fight against tycoons and added that "Rolnik and TheMarker created, with their own hands", the government-appointed committee that dealt with the concentration of economic power. "It is thanks to them", he said, "that we found out the extent to which our capital and debt markets sometimes resemble a closely-knit circle of cronies."[11]

In April 2012, Mako, a news website owned by Israel's leading television broadcaster Keshet published a list of "Israel's 50 most interesting people", in which Rolnik was included. Keshet's journalist, Dror Globerman, wrote there: "Even during these tough times for the press in general and Haaretz in particular, it seems that this seasoned editor understands very well which side his bread is buttered, and it isn’t on the side of staying in the good books of advertisers; it’s on the side of biting critique, giving his readers the feeling that there is somebody they can count on. And while about it, he sets an important standard for his colleagues." [12]

In December 2013, The “7th eye”, the Israeli media watchdog for the critic of media, published by Israeli Democracy Institute (NGO) wrote: “TheMarker, led by Guy Rolnik turned economic concentration to a central part of the Israeli public discourse. A rare example, not only in Israel, of a Media outlet that succeeds through an aggressive, versatile and creative campaign to significantly influence the public agenda to such an extent that the parliament adopts a bill that will bring about dramatic changes to the structure of the economy”. (http://www.the7eye.org.il/88470).

In December 2013, Aviv Hurvitz, Media critic for Israeli Channel2 website wrote: “Not every day, an Israeli newspaper decides to initiate a long term campaign knowing that it will take years and its success chances are slim at best. Not even every year. Not every decade a newspaper that struggles for its economic survival - dares to wage war against the strongest forces in the economy. Not even in every generation. TheMarker, led by Guy Rolnik, did it - and succeeded. 4 years ago the newspaper went on a relentless, uncompromising battle against economic concentration - a subject that was marginal or totally denied - until TheMarker started its efforts in a consistent and aggressive campaign that included hundreds of editorials and features. This week the campaign was declared a victory when the “Concentration bill” was approved by the parliament . TheMarker celebrated the success - and for a good and justified reason: If not for TheMarker - it is very doubtful if the concentration issue would ever come close to the book of bills of the parliament”. (http://www.mako.co.il/culture-weekend/media-fights/Article-6d7e10f5a27e241006.htm).

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.mako.co.il/weekend-articles/Article-d6e27205d44e631006.htm
  2. ^ http://recanati.tau.ac.il/mtei-schedule2013
  3. ^ http://recanati-bs.tau.ac.il/_Uploads/dbsAttachedFiles/Syllabuses/2013/syllabuses/1264-4000-01.doc
  4. ^ http://www.mqg.org.il/%D7%94%D7%99%D7%9B%D7%9C%D7%94%D7%AA%D7%94%D7%99%D7%9C%D7%94/%D7%90%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%90%D7%99%D7%9B%D7%95%D7%AA%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%98%D7%95%D7%9F/%D7%90%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A8%D7%90%D7%99%D7%9B%D7%95%D7%AA%D7%94%D7%A9%D7%9C%D7%98%D7%95%D7%9F2005/tabid/109/Default.aspx
  5. ^ http://www.haaretz.com/news/themarker-wins-advertising-and-marketing-oscar-at-2007-effie-awards-1.225088
  6. ^ http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=942333&contrassID=2&subContrassID=7&sbSubContrassID=0
  7. ^ http://www.kinneret.ac.il/Web/About/PressRelease/2374.aspx
  8. ^ http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/28/110228fa_fact_remnick
  9. ^ http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=212302
  10. ^ http://www.themarker.com/advertising/1.1519997
  11. ^ http://news.nana10.co.il/Article/?ArticleID=853171
  12. ^ http://www.mako.co.il/weekend-articles/Article-d6e27205d44e631006.htm