Some expect Ben-Zvi to merge Maariv with his other newspaper: rightwing, religious daily Makor Rishon. The two papers already share writers, leading to embarrassment in February when both ran markedly different accounts of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Cairo, written by the same reporter.

Shwartz Altshuler feels Israeli print media without Maariv is a gloomy prospect. “If you take one newspaper out of the market, it means something very bad for democracy, for pluralism, for the marketplace of ideas,” she said.

Matar is just as downbeat. “I think that there is room for this newspaper in Israeli society, and I think that it can contribute. The question is if we’ll get the chance to prove it to readers in the longer run.”


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Edirin Oputu is an assistant editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter @EdirinOputu