Photo by Eitan Elhadez-Barak/TPS on 14 April, 2024

Survey Reveals Impact of News Consumption During Iranian Attack

Public By Pesach Benson • 17 April, 2024

Jerusalem, 17 April, 2024 (TPS) -- A new survey sheds light on Israeli news consumption and the impact of news on anxiety during critical hours.

The survey conducted by Dr. Gal Yavetz of Bar-Ilan University in collaboration with iPanel asked 504 Israeli Jews about the news they consumed on the night of April 13, when Iran launched more than 320 drones and missiles. It was Iran’s first direct attack on Israel.

“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,” Yavetz said.

News consumption surged, with 40% saying they tuned into news for more than three hours that night. Over 77% of respondents reported varying degrees of anxiety, and 3.6% admitted experiencing extreme symptoms such as difficulty breathing and overwhelming terror.

At the same time, 60% said the information they got from the media was helpful, in what Bar-Ilan characterized as a “calming effect.”

The findings also revealed a significant level of Israeli trust in official sources of information. Approximately 75% of respondents expressed confidence in the updates provided by the military’s spokesman and Home Front Command officials, viewing them as reliable representatives.

News of the attack first hit the Israeli media on Saturday evening after Iran launched a wave of attack drones. Those unmanned aerial vehicles needed several hours to reach Israel, giving many Israelis time to make last-minute trips to stock up on water, canned food, batteries and other items.

Most of the drones were intercepted by the Air Forces of Israel, the US, Jordan, Britain and France. Iran also launched ballistic missiles, which were shot down by Israeli air defenses.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, 99% of the drones and missiles were intercepted. Only one Israeli was injured, a seven-year-old Bedouin who is in life-threatening danger, after shrapnel from an intercepted missile fell on her home in the Negev.