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  • Writer's pictureViva Sarah Press

Top stories of the decade

There are hundreds of journalists writing from Israel about Israel.

There are thousands of stories to tell.

How to tell the stories is always a question.

Whenever I speak to groups about what it means to be an innovation journalist who tells the stories of Israeli ingenuity, creativity and tech, I always note that my goal – for me – is to offer a new angle on a topic or connect the news of the day to something with a wider reach.

I didn’t think about making a list of my most-read articles of the outgoing decade. But I was sent an email with a list that happened to include many of my articles – and some co-written articles—and then I saw another recap list featuring some of my writing as well.

What made some of these articles more popular than others? SEO, maybe. A right algorithm, perhaps.

There were articles I thought would go viral and didn’t and vice versa. Like a report I wrote about Beersheva going cyber and an article on Israel as a driving force in auto-tech, which both did well, but did not make it to a most-read list. My articles on Beresheet, Israel’s moonshot over the years, did well but never cracked the most popular algorithm.

That said, an article on pomegranates and another about a Syrian refugee thanking Israel for its humanitarian aid proved extremely popular with readers.

For me, professionally, the last decade kicked off in 2011. I began the decade on maternity leave. I spent much of 2010 with three kids under three years old. Diaper changing replaced interviewing and writing. It was awesome.

So, without further ado, my top stories of the decade (as listed by other sites):

In 2011, I was back in my role as storyteller. I had left the television world (and the commute) and shifted to online journalism.

I wrote dozens of stories that year. It was an article on jigsaw puzzles that reached farthest and widest – with people sending me emails and LinkedIn messages from India, the UK and the US to find out more.

In 2012, an Israeli opera singer made international headlines when both the lead and understudy called in sick and the then 26 year old stepped in to sing the role of Carmen. In fact, the Israel Opera's 2012 production of Carmen at Masada became one of the year’s biggest arts stories.

In 2013, the most read story on a list made by 21c was one I wrote about pomegranates. In 2018, I updated the article for a different media site. Israeli pomegranates are sweeter and have a longer shelf-life. These superfood fruits are exported from Israel to Europe.

The second most popular story in 2013, according to the 21c list, was a travel piece on 18 things to do for free in Tel Aviv.

In 2014, my story on the Iron Dome did very well. It wasn’t just about the anti-missile system. The article was an easy-to-read fun info-laden piece on 15 things you didn’t know about this awesome invention.

In 2015, I helped write a quiz about Israel. Turns out people enjoyed testing their knowledge.

Also in 2015, a podcast that I wrote and hosted put the spotlight on a different tech sector in Israel each week. The podcast on medical marijuana was the most popular of the series.

The two top stories of 2016 – on the aforementioned Syrian refugee and snack foods, in that order – won the most shares and reads, according to the 21c list.

In 2017, an article on Israel’s role in medical cannabis was among the most popular for a US online site.

In 2018, one of the most important stories I wrote was about Israeli and Palestinians working together in innovation and technology.

An article I wrote on cannabis ice cream was picked up by other media and rewritten or shared.

In 2019, a local guide about Tel Aviv for The Washington Post was among my most shared articles of the year.

Articles on the Beresheet mission – some co-written, others solo – got an honorable mention for 2019 coverage.

From a journalistic standpoint, the last decade included television, radio, online journalism, and print journalism.

At present, I am a contributing writer for, a news site focusing on Israeli innovation, and I freelance to an array of other publications. I also give talks on innovation, creativity, and the stories of Israel.

I recently added a new duet talk on embracing failure.

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