Fundamentalist web journalism: Walking a fine line between religious ultra-Orthodoxy and the new media ethos

Oren Golan, Nakhi Mishol-Shauli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


New media journalism has perturbed traditional reporting not only in mainstream-modern societies but also within religious-cum-insular communities. Focusing on the Jewish ultra-Orthodox community in Israel and in light of web journalists’ continuous struggle with leading clergy and an apprehensive public, this study grapples with the question, ‘How do ultra-Orthodox web journalists view their work mission as information brokers for an enclave culture?’ The study gleaned from 40 in-depth interviews with web journalists and discussions with community web activists. Results uncovered three major schemata that drive their praxis: (1) Communal-Haredi, (2) Western-Democratic and (3) Journalist Ecosystem. Findings suggest a rising archetype of fundamentalist web journalism that rests its professional ethos on writers’ practice, rather than on formalized training or communal dictums. Web journalists were found to strongly identify with their community, yet, often unintentionally, also act as a secondary form of authority and harbingers of change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-320
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/ or publication of this article: This work was supported by the I-CORE Program of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and the Israel Science Foundation (grant no. 1716/12) as well as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant funded by the European commission for research and innovation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, The Author(s) 2018.


  • Fundamentalism
  • journalist motivations
  • new media and religion
  • online journalism
  • religion
  • religion and media
  • ultra-Orthodox
  • ultra-Orthodox Jews
  • web journalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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