Home Blog February 12, 1886: The Day Hebrew Journalism Made History

February 12, 1886: The Day Hebrew Journalism Made History


When Ha-Yom was first published on February 12, 1886, it was the first-ever daily newspaper printed entirely in Hebrew.

The St. Petersburg-based paper ran for just two years, but earned a special distinction in the world of Jewish journalism.


Prior to its creation, Hebrew language publications were typically printed on a monthly or weekly basis.

Indeed, the start of Ha-Yom inspired two popular Hebrew periodicals, Ha-Meliz and Ha-Tsefirah, to go daily, as well.

Ha-Yom was the brainchild of Jehuda Lob Kantor, who was both founder and editor of the newspaper.

Upon its inception, the paper had a daily circulation of 2,400, a figure that had dropped to 1,600 a year later.

In creating the publication, Kantor implemented many successful techniques other mainstream papers were already utilizing, though they had been all but lost on most Hebrew broadsheets.

Kantor employed correspondents in western European hotspots as well as the US, and used news wires for up to the minute information.

Soon after its founding, Ha-Meliz, then the most popular Hebrew media source in Russia, also adopted the news wire strategy.

Economic burdens and a resurgence in the popularity of Ha-Meliz ultimately led to the closure of Ha-Yom.

But it wasn’t all for naught. Upon its end, Kantor picked up the reins at Ha-Meliz, becoming editor in 1889.



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