Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tabloid Baby's 2008 Journalist of The Year

Elli Wohlgelernter
Tabloid Baby's 2008 Journalist of The Year

You know him as Our Man Elli in Israel. Television viewers and newspaper readers in Israel know him by the sign-off and byline of Elli Wohlgelernter. We've known him for 27 years as Elli, the New York Super Jew, Woody Allen's brain in the body of Tony Roberts, the rabbi's kid from the Columbia J School who wound up at the New York Post, then the desk at Channel 5's legendary 10 O'Clock News, then on to a cross-country and ultimately international journey that would land him in jobs on weekly newspapers, at television stations, in Hollywood and ultimately lead him to Jerusalem, where he settled 17 years ago, started a family, ended a marriage, and in 2006 embarked on a solitary journalistic grind that influenced the future of a nation and a sport.

Elli's coverage of the machinations behind the Israel Baseball League led to great anger among his countrymen, resentment by his colleagues and a concerted effort by his story subjects to smear him.

But for close to three years now, he's followed the story, exposed the scandals, protected lives and broke news on a momentous saga that the rest of the world media has yet to come to grips with.

And he did it for free.

The relevance? Go to our Baseball in Israel archival site and read the entirety of his Israeli baseball coverage. Then look to the recent arrest of Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street macher who allegedly bilked his fellow American Jews of 50 billion dollars.

The scope of the baseball story is not nearly so large, and the charges are not criminal, but the parallels are many. And the chutzpah is unmatched.

Elli's nation is at war this week, and his attentions are elsewhere. But as he looks toward Gaza, his IBL reportage lays the groundwork for other journalists and historians to dig even deeper, and (along with a change in rules that allows Internet journalism) rightfully led to his nomination for a Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

It also seals his position as Tabloid Baby's 2008 Journalist of The Year.

The Person of the Year?

Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He is the only guy with integrity and guts who covered the Israel Baseball League . We look forward to more coverage of the IBL and the criminals who are nothing more than scam artists and the institutions who helped the IBL with its devious plans!