Religious Journalists’ Ethics on Communicating Science: The Case of Ultra-Orthodox Reportage in Israel

Oren Golan, Nakhi Mishol-Shauli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While religious dogma and science are often viewed at odds, scientific knowledge is increasingly integrated into religious journalism. This challenges the epistemic tenets that underlie the worldviews of religious readers. In this study, we aim to investigate the role of religious journalists as science gatekeepers and, more specifically, uncover their ethos in advocating science communication to their audience, amid widespread ambivalence. To this end, we focus on the ethical gaze of ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Jews in Israel. An enclaved religious group that has a history of challenging scientific precepts and has of late demonstrated various levels of ambivalence and resistance to scientifically inspired policies made during the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, we conducted in-depth interviews with 20 Haredi editors, radio and print/online journalists, engaged with science reporting before and during the COVID-19 outbreak. The findings unveil several ethical facets employed by Haredi journalists: care, community, professionalism, and religion. The findings also outline the interaction between professional, religious, and communal codes of conduct, as they play out in bounded mediascapes. Accordingly, religious journalists’ role breaches traditional boundaries as they respond and strive to integrate multiple sources of knowledge for what they see as the betterment of their devout readers.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number296
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • journalist ethics
  • professional ethics
  • religious journalism
  • science communication
  • ultra-Orthodox press

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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