The News has a big impact on you and me. It shapes what we know about and what we think.
Online Jewish news publications have gained tremendous popularity in recent years, so I think it’s time we took a look at the leading Jewish News Sites in the World. Which are the top sites? Which is gaining in popularity and which is declining? And what will the future hold for Jewish News on the Web?
I have three goals in writing this article:
- To help businesses searching for popular Jewish news sites to advertise on (not that I endorse paid advertising as a sustainable traffic generation strategy)
- To help publishers of Jewish News sites , so that you know your “competition”
- To provide information for curious readers who want to better understand the current readership trends for Jewish news online
As in my previous post in this series, The Top 11 Orthodox Jewish Websites, I want to emphasize that the data I’m presenting here is not totally accurate and should be considered a rough guide. It is collected via compete.com, a respected web traffic estimation tool. However, let’s assume that it’s not so good at collating traffic from particular countries and for sites with several sub-domains. In short, let’s take this data with a grain of salt.
And now, without further ado…
The Top 10 Jewish News Sites in the World
The #1 Jewish News site today is The Jerusalem Post, unarguably the best-known name in the world of Jewish news. Yet its dominance is by no means assured, as indicated by the graph. The Jerusalem Post has struggled to keep up with changing publishing technologies and trends, but the sheer power of its huge brand recognition make it a lead contender nevertheless. (Disclosure: I got my career start a the JPost 10 years ago, thanks to a good word from Miriam Shaviv, and I enjoyed working there.)
The Posts main rivals for some years have been Ynet and Haaretz’s English editions. Haaretz’s overt left-wing leanings give it a strong market of Jews around the world, while Ynet has a reputation for being first with inside Israeli news.
Israel National News also has a secure spot in the top 5. It’s stong right-wing politics make it attractive to many Jews in Israel and around the world.
These old favorites have lately been challenged by a new news site, The Times of Israel, launched in early 2012. As you can see from the above graph, The Times of Israel has had almost unbelievable success in capturing a large audience in a short space of time. (You can read more about the secrets of their success in my controversial post: Times of Israel Bloggers: Are You Getting Paid?)
Anyone planning to launch, boost or revitalize a news or content website in the Jewish niche: take note of the Times of Israel’s strategy!
More on the Jewish News Top 10
There is a big gap between the top 5 and the next contenders, but here they are:
The Jewish Daily Forward holds authority for many in the “Cultural Jews” sector, and it has implemented a solid strategy for generating boosting content and traffic. Way over on other end of the religious spectrum, The Yeshiva World News and VosIzNeias are the leaders in the chareidi/ultra-Orthodox market, and which I examined closer in my previous article. The Jewish Press is growing significantly in the centrist Orthodox market. Algemeiner is another new contender that is going for the US Jewish readership and is doing a good job of social marketing and blogging to build it’s readership.
What’s The Future of Jewish News Online?
In days gone by, people got their Jewish news from local and regional publications. Obviously in today’s interconnected world, where Jews around the world can get their news from a single source, an internationally known brand is of huge value. This is creating intense competition among the sites vying for the #1 position. But it’s not clear that this market is saturated. In fact, I see an opening for more big Jewish news sites, especially in the US.
In business, we often talk about “market share.” In other words, we assume that if one company gets more customers, its competitors will get less customers. Interestingly enough, it’s hard to identify that trend in terms of Jewish news websites. In fact, they often share the same traffic spikes, presumably at times when big news stories are breaking.
However, we all recognize the true nature of news publications: it’s not just about the traffic and readership; it’s not just about the prestige of being #1; it’s not even about attracting the advertising and investment dollars (it can actually be surprisingly hard to do that, even for a mega-popular site).
Don’t forget that running a well-read news site is also about power. Obviously the most popular news outlets have a lot of power to shape public opinion and educate us in whatever manner its editors see fit.
Of course, today’s web news sites don’t have anything like the power of the newspaper barons of old. Nowadays, anyone can start a blog (even you!) and amass an significant audience (even me!). But successful new sites still have a lot of credibility and clout to influence who becomes famous, whose (alleged) crimes get exposed, who gets elected and what is generally newsworthy in this world.
I guess that’s why we should all be keeping an eye on the top Jewish News Sites in the World!
So who do you think will win the battle for the #1 spot? Do you think there is room for another international Jewish news site? And what do you think the future holds for Jewish news publishing online?
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