Ben-Yehuda and Hebrew Journalism

hahavetzeletBen-Yehuda began his journalism career in the Holy Land at the newspaper Habazeleth (=Havatselet) which was owned by Israel Dov Frumkin, and continued working there until the end of 1884. While working with Frumkin, Ben-Yehuda also published his first newspaper,Mevasseret Tsiyon, which appeared as an insert to Havatselet in 1884. After leavingHavatselet, Ben-Yehuda began to publish his first independent newspaper, Hatsvi (1884).

Ben-Yehuda worked in journalism for 30 years, until shortly after the beginning of World War I. He used his newspaper as a tool for the dispersion of his ideologies concerning the revival of the Jewish nation — and against the old settlement in Jerusalem and the Halukamanagement that ran it — and also as a means of publicizing his innovations in reviving the Hebrew language.

Ben-Yehuda’s struggle and his attempts to create a free press were met with an angry response by the Turkish government, which occasionally shut down his papers. By Hanukka 1893, the Turks even censored the papers for a short period. In order to continue publication, Ben-Yehuda was forced to engage in subterfuge and to change the name of his publications.