Israel HaYom logo
|Founded||30 July 2007|
|Political alignment||Conservative, Centre-right|
|Language||Hebrew (print and online edition), English (online edition)|
Israel HaYom (Hebrew: ישראל היום, lit. "Israel Today") is an Israeli national Hebrew-language free daily newspaper, first published 30 July 2007. The name is a variation of the popular USA Today, though there is no relation between the two publications. The controversial Israel HaYom has the largest daily circulation in the country. It is Israel's only free-of-charge national newspaper, and worries about market distortion and undermining of democracy have led to a bill to stop the free distribution of newspapers to pass its first reading in the Knesset in November 2014, some claiming that this was the primary cause for Prime Minister Netayahu's calling for early new elections.
At the time of its launch, the newspaper, owned by US casino mogul Sheldon Adelson who in 2012 was believed to invest about $20 million a year in the paper, competed directly with Israeli, another free daily previously co-run by Adelson, which later became defunct. A weekend edition was launched in October 2009.
The chief editor is Amos Regev. In 2007, Maariv editor Dan Margalit left Maariv to write for Israel HaYom.
While in the Prime Minister's office, Ehud Olmert criticized Adelson's leaning towards Benjamin Netanyahu. Ben-Dror Yemini has described the paper as "a danger to democracy". A study conducted by Moran Rada showed that while competing newspapers' coverage of Netanyahu was "not especially fair", Yisrael Hayom 's coverage was biased in favor of Netanyahu in most editorial decisions, that the paper chooses to play down events that don't help to promote a positive image for Netanyahu, while on the other hand, touting and inflating events that help promote Netanyahu and the Likud. Oren Frisco reached the same conclusion after the 2009 Knesset elections, writing that throughout the campaign, Yisrael HaYom published only one article critical of the Likud, and tens of articles critical of Kadima.
The popular nickname of Israel HaYom is "Bibiton" meaning "Bibi's newspaper", by combining Benjamin Netanyahu's nickname "Bibi" with the Hebrew word for newspaper, "iton".
Israel HaYom has a market share that rose in the last half of 2009 from 23.2 to 26.6 percent. In July 2010, it surpassed Yedioth Ahronoth in rate of exposure in the semi-annual Target Group Index (TGI) survey with a rate of 35.2% compared with Yedioth's 34.9% After only a few months of publication of a weekend edition, it scored it 25.7% of exposure compared with Yediot's 43.7% rate.
This trend continued in 2011. According to the TGI survey published in July 2011, Israel HaYom surpassed all other newspapers in Israel, including Yedioth Ahronoth, and became number one daily newspaper (for weekdays) four years after its inception. This survey states that Israel HaYom has 39.3% weekdays readership exposure, Yedioth Ahronoth 37%, Maariv 12.1% and Haaretz 5.8%. Nevertheless, Yedioth Ahronoth 's weekend edition is still leading with 44.3% readership exposure compared to 31% for Israel HaYom, 14.9% for Maariv and 6.8% for Haaretz.
- Greenslade, Roy (30 July 2010). "Israel free paper wins top spot". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- "Adelson-aimed bill curbing free newspapers advances in Knesset". THE TIMES OF ISRAEL. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2015.
- "Wapping in the Holy Land". The Economist. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- Itzik Wolff (December 30, 2007). אולמרט לאדלסון: "ישראל היום" - פוליטי (in Hebrew). News1.
- Asaf Carmel (14 January 2008). 'ישראל היום' - עלון מפלגתי שהתחפש למוצר תקשורתי ["Israel Hayom - Newsletter from its party that disguised itself as a media product"]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- Yemini, Ben-Dror (25 December 2009). "Israel HaYom is a danger to democracy". Maariv (in Hebrew). Retrieved 5 April 2010.
- Eydar, Dror (31 December 2009). מי באמת נאבק למען הדמוקרטיה [Who is really fighting for democracy?]. Israel HaYom (in Hebrew). p. 28. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- Moran Rada (9 July 2008). נתניהו שילם, מה אתם רוצים ממנו? ["Netanyahu paid, what do you want from him?"]. HaAyin HaShevi'it (in Hebrew) (Israeli Democracy Institute).
- Oren Persico (10 February 2009). אצל אביגדור בחצר [Avigdor in Court]. HaAyin HaShevi'it (in Hebrew) (Israeli Democracy Institute).
- http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21643198-when-newspapers-take-sides-bibi-ton-bomb The Bibi-ton bomb, The Economist, Feb 14th 2015
- Li-Or Averbuch (27 January 2010). "TGI survey shows "Globes" only paper to grow". Globes. Retrieved 27 January 2010.
- Li-Or Averbuch (28 July 2010). "After decades, "Yediot" no longer top newspaper". Globes. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
- “TGI Survey states: Israel Hayom in first place among daily newspapers!”, IsraelHayom.co.il