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A Noticeable Woman in the Public Sphere: The Life of Israeli Journalist Hannah Semer (1924–2003)

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Abstract

The journalist Hannah Semer has always fascinated me. I grew up in Israel during the 1970s and 1980s, when Semer’s was one of the few women’s voices heard in the public arena, alongside figures such as politicians Shulamit Aloni, Geula Cohen, Tamar Gozansky, and Supreme Court Justice Miriam Ben-Porat. Semer was an exceptional figure; she broke through the glass ceiling of journalism in a way no other Israeli female journalist did before or has done since, and very few female journalists worldwide have equaled her professional and public achievements. Semer held jobs that traditionally were—and still remain—the exclusive preserve of male journalists: parliamentary correspondent, political correspondent, editorial writer on political affairs, and, most exceptionally, editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper for two decades.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    For more biographical details not mentioned here, see: Naor 2012 and Rubinstein 2012, or, along with a more detailed summary of Semer’s biography, see my article, Lachover 2009.

  2. 2.

    This committee consists of the editors and owners of the main Israeli newsrooms. Until the 1970s, it was quite prestigious and its members were given important information on condition it not be published (Limor et al. 2007).

  3. 3.

    The Israel Press Council is the uppermost media organization in Israel. This voluntary organization was established in 1963 and is made up of representatives of the public, reporters, editors, and media owners (Limor et al. 2007).

  4. 4.

    The global network of editors, media executives, and leading journalists, dedicated to the furtherance and safeguarding of press freedom, the promotion of the free flow of news and information, and the improvement of the practices of journalism.

  5. 5.

    Hannah Semer. (June 27, 1983). La’Isha, p. 5. Semer’s first book, Half Tea, Half Coffee (1969), is a collection of her writings for her radio program together with essays she wrote especially for the book. Her second book, Ceausescu of Romania (1976), is a biography of the Romanian leader Ceausescu published before his transgressions as dictator became known. Semer regretted writing the book and shelved it.

  6. 6.

    Avidar, T. (September, 1969). Nothing Stands in Hannah’s Way, Att, Issue no. 30, 29:5.

  7. 7.

    Eisin, N. (1974). Hannah Semer, Dvar Hapo’elet, nos. 3–4:10.

  8. 8.

    Hannah Semer. (May, 28, 1990b). A Woman, Flesh and Blood, La’Isha, 22: 27–28.

  9. 9.

    Mary Oskovsky-York. (January, 1988). A Different Thing, Olam Haisha: 38.

  10. 10.

    Hannah Semer. (June 27, 1983). La’Isha, p. 19.

  11. 11.

    Tali Lipkin-Shahak. (September 14, 1990). Dvar Hashavua, p. 8.

  12. 12.

    Cohen, Z. (August-September, 1983). An Interview with Hannah Semer, Naamat, pp. 8–9.

  13. 13.

    Anonymous 1972, p. 3.

  14. 14.

    Cohen, Z. (August–September, 1983). An Interview with Hannah Semer, Naamat, pp. 8–9.

  15. 15.

    Tali Lipkin-Shahak. (September 14, 1990). Dvar Hashavua, p. 9.

  16. 16.

    Ibid.

  17. 17.

    Ibid.

  18. 18.

    Sarig, M. (March 31, 2000). Hannah Semer. Iton Tel Aviv, p. 83.

  19. 19.

    Ibid.

  20. 20.

    Hannah Semer. (September 20, 1982). Removing the Government of Evil from the Land, Davar, p. 1.

  21. 21.

    Hannah Semer. (December 29, 1975). The Hazed Discourse, La’Isha, p. 22.

  22. 22.

    Hannah Semer (February 25, 1972). A Sense of Proportion, Davar, p. 15.

  23. 23.

    Mary Oskovsky-York. (January, 1988). A Different Thing, Olam Haisha: 38.

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Lachover, E. (2020). A Noticeable Woman in the Public Sphere: The Life of Israeli Journalist Hannah Semer (1924–2003). In: Shabliy, E., Kurochkin, D., Ayee, G. (eds) Global Perspectives on Women’s Leadership and Gender (In)Equality . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41822-9_8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-41822-9_8

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