update deskIsrael at War

As Iran attacked, anxious Israelis put trust in the IDF and watched news

Forty percent consumed more than three hours of news during the barrage.

Israelis evaluate damage after the Iranian missile attack in Katzrin, the Golan Heights, April 14, 2024. Photo by Michael Giladi/Flash90.
Israelis evaluate damage after the Iranian missile attack in Katzrin, the Golan Heights, April 14, 2024. Photo by Michael Giladi/Flash90.

More than 77% of the Israeli public experienced varying levels of anxiety during Iran’s April 14 aerial attack, but watching news helped them cope, a Bar-Ilan University survey found.

Only 20% of respondents reported no symptoms of anxiety during the attack. Approximately 3.6% said that they experienced extreme anxiety, including difficulty breathing, confusion and feeling terrorized.

Forty percent of Israelis consumed more than three hours of news during the attack. The majority, 75%, said they trusted the IDF spokesman and Home Front Command information.

Approximately 60% of the public said that the information they consumed from the media was helpful to them during the hours of the attack.

“An emergency event of this sort affirms the role of traditional media in notifying, preparing and providing commentary to the public during such an extreme moment of fear and anxiety,” said Gal Yavetz of Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Information Science, who, together with iPanel, conducted the survey of 504 Israelis.

A previous survey by Yavetz during the fourth and fifth weeks of “Swords of Iron,” the current Gaza war, found that about half of the public reported increased news consumption of more than three hours a day.

The current findings also mirror previous research on the war conducted by Yavetz, which found that in the eyes of the public, the IDF spokesman provides a reliable picture of the situation that can be trusted, even when it comes to events of historical significance such as that which took place on Saturday night.

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