Sikkuy - The Association for the Advancement of Civic Equality

A-LIST: Arab Experts for Israeli TV and radio in Hebrew

The A-LIST is a database for the Israeli media, offering instant access to Arab experts, articulate women and men with knowledge in diverse fields, all of them outstanding interview prospects from the Arab community

The A-LIST is an online database of Arab experts, women and men, offering instant access to carefully selected interview prospects from the Arab community, articulate and knowledgeable in diverse fields, for the Israeli media.

The list was created in 2016 by ANU in partnership with Sikkuy. Today it features over 200 Arab experts and is expanding rapidly to include additional areas of expertise including business, technology, science, economics, health, education, foreign relations, the humanities, and more.

Sikkuy created The A-LIST, operates it and promotes it to the media as part of a comprehensive Sikkuy strategy to achieve fair representation of Arab citizens in Israeli media. This broad-scale approach is grounded in our understanding that the exclusion of Arab citizens from the media is costly in many respects, and that the costs are borne by Arab society in Israel as well as by Israeli society as a whole.

Long term research by Sikkuy, together with the 7th Eye and Yifat, reveals that in Israeli Hebrew-language media at the start of 2016, Arab interviewees averaged only 3% of the total, and most Arabs interviewed were queried about subjects directly related to their being Arabs, while only 10% were  asked to discuss their areas of expertise.

Why are so few Arabs interviewed as experts? A-LIST was created in response to a barrier that Sikkuy, like other similar organizations before it, had identified from the outset: Most journalists and media decision makers, particularly those who agreed at Sikkuy’s urging to increase the percentage of Arabs interviewed, complained that they had no access to suitable interviewees and especially not to Arab experts, and hence relied mainly on already-familiar sources. A-LIST now lets them connect easily with numerous experts from the Arab community, both women and men, about whom they previously knew nothing.

The list was assembled to meet the needs of Israel’s major media and has readily accessible and updated content. We are also promoting A-LIST via social media and a regularly updated bulletin circulated monthly to hundreds of media people in Israel, with suggested interviewees who can address issues currently in the headlines.

Our work in increased media representation for Arab citizens is yielding results. Among all Arabs interviewed in the media during 2016, the proportion interviewed as experts in their field rose from 10% to 30%.

Silence is Golden