For those who want, crave, need to be engaged with all things Israel, I have recently become a huge fan of a year-old podcast produced in Tel Aviv that I listen to daily.
After I listened for two weeks, I emailed the station TLV1 to offer my complements and gratitude, and their Sales and Marketing Manager, Itai Shelem, contacted me. He told me the following about the station’s mission:
TLV1 is an English-language internet radio station broadcasting from Tel Aviv – the heart of Israel and cultural barometer of the Middle East. Reflecting Tel Aviv’s vibrant fusion of East with West and traditional with modern, TLV1 interweaves Israel’s rich cultural history with an exhilarating future embodied by the hi-tech industry.
Whether from street-level or the hallways of government, in earnest or in jest, TLV1 has its finger on the pulse: From breaking news to culinary trends, from musical pioneers to game-changing entrepreneurs, we don’t miss a beat.
Then Itai, said:
We've got over 20 different shows ranging from music, culture, sports, and food - all available via podcast and on-demand on our site. We supply radio content to Haaretz.com. We are working on putting on radio plays and taking our radio shows on the road, in front of a live audience. I've very excited about that.
The Tel Aviv Table, The Promised Podcast, StreetWise Hebrew, and So Much to Say are our most popular programs. We've got two music editors that select music for shows, often based on the content at hand.
I have found the show “So Much to Say” particularly enlightening. It is a 5-day a week hour news broadcast of stories making the Israeli headlines made up mostly of interviews with Israeli experts on a wide range of issues including the recent war in Gaza, PTSD among Israeli children in the south, growing racism in certain sectors of Israeli society and the Ministry of Education’s efforts to combat it in the schools, Israel’s targeted killing of Hamas terrorists and its relationship to international law (see my earlier blog on this issue), and the recent re-opening of the Chabad house in Mumbai after a terrorist strike three years ago. Interspersed between every story is Israeli or international popular music. The hosts are smart, well-spoken and well-informed. Their agenda is simply good, thoughtful and probing journalism.
Itai told me as well that the number of listeners is growing dramatically. He wrote:
“Last month (July), 74,000 unique listeners tuned in, consuming nearly 160,000 on-demand radio segments, which does not include listeners to our live audio stream. These listeners represent over 185 countries and territories, and more than 6,800 cities.”
Just to be certain you understand my motivation in recommending TLV1, and especially “So Much to Say” – I am not on their payroll and have no relationship to anyone at the station. I receive nothing in response to blogging about TLV1, just the satisfaction that some of you will download the podcast, listen and be as enlightened with accurate cutting-edge reporting as I am.
If you don’t trust my judgment, then listen in yourself and make up your own mind.