Tuesday, January 26th 2021   |

Investigative piece in SJL magazine exposes Jewish Light

An investigative piece in Southern Jewish Life (SJL) magazine, a sister publication recognized as an official magazine of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans, exposes how another publication, Jewish Light, has no local reporting and “wild circulation numbers” in its continuing endeavor to glean advertising from people and businesses attempting to reach the Jewish community.

The CCJN and Southern Jewish Life magazine are members of the AJPA.

Like the Crescent City Jewish News (CCJN), SJL is a member of the American Jewish Press Association and the Press Club of New Orleans, the article points out. The Jewish Light does not maintain a membership to either of those professional organizations, the article indicates.

CCJN editor Alan Smason is the current president of the American Jewish Press Association.

The article points out that in its advertising the Jewish Light claims it reaches 11,000 and an additional 2,500 copies delivered elsewhere at eateries, synagogues. The article, which includes an interview with United Media president Donald Gares, states they claim readership, not circulation numbers in their advertising. Readership numbers are typically higher than circulation numbers, the article explains, in that it is assumed more than one person will read a copy of a newspaper or magazine.

Other than occasional public relations releases or information the Jewish Light staffers copy “word for word” from Jewish synagogues or institutional websites, the only Jewish reporting the Jewish Light publishes comes from the JTA news service, the article states. Based in New York, JTA is a subsidiary of 70Faces Media and the CCJN is a subscriber to its service. According to 70Faces Media CEO, Ami Eden, their organization cannot legally discriminate as to who can purchase a subscription to the news service.

SJL also conducted a random phone sampling of 100 members of the Jewish community, which indicated a low recognition factor of about half of the respondents. Of those who did recognize the publication, the article continues, most (80%) indicated they wouldn’t pick up a copy. Of the 20% of the half that recognized the newspaper, they stated they would “flip through it quickly,” the article alleges.

A recent history of Jewish newspapers in New Orleans is included in the article, which details how Jewish Light and its parent company of United Media came into the market and a brief history of the CCJN and SJL as well.  

To read the article in its entirety, click here.


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