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Press Pass: Featuring Amir Tibon, correspondent for Haaretz in Washington

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How did you decide to become a journalist?

I began writing in high school and fell in love with the profession. After my military service, I decided to get back into it.

What’s the story that you’re most proud of?

In 2012, I did a number of stories on the Syrian civil war. I visited Syria and refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey, and the Kurdish areas. These are the stories that I’m most proud of.

How would you describe journalism in 2019 compared to 2009 in terms of objectivity?

I think social media has done a terrible disservice to journalism. There is an urge to tweet or post on Facebook every small thought, every unverified development. It’s good entertainment, but it’s not good journalism.

Describe one event you’ve covered that you’ll never forget

The last two weeks of the 2016 election in the United States. Being in Times Square on election night and watching the entire world fall into shock.

What’s the last book you read?

Thirteen Days in September by Lawrence Wright about the Camp David Accords. I decided to read it again recently because of all the news about Trump [and the impending peace plan].

Who are the three most powerful people in the world today and why?

I can only think of two: Jeff Bezos and Xi Jinping. One is head of a huge company, the other the head of a huge country, but both possess huge amounts of information. And because information is the gold of the 21st century, I think they are the two most powerful people in the world. I could add Donald Trump, but I don’t think he’s very good at utilizing information.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha, Issue 745)

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