Dr. Alexandra Eliora Herfroy-Mischler


Email:  eliorah@live.fr

Academic Background and Fields of Interests

Originally from Paris, where I studied a BA in Journalism at the Sorbonne, I wrote my MA thesis on the Swiss press agency (ATS/SDA) coverage of Holocaust Heirless accounts stored in the Swiss banks affair (1997-1999). I was then granted a Visiting Fellow Scholarship from the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs to conduct my first year of research at the Rothberg International School in 2006. In 2008 I completed my Ph.D in media sciences at the Sorbonne in Paris. My thesis was entitled “Swiss banks, international news and press agencies: the coverage of Holocaust-Era Heirless Accounts in Swiss banks affair (1995-2005) by the Swiss Press Agency and Associated Press from Bern, Jerusalem and New York”.

I led a comparative content analysis of press agency coverage about the Holocaust-Era accounts held in Swiss banks from 1995 until 2005 and its problematic and contraversial restitution process. To do so, I conducted 50 interviews in Israel, Switzerland and New York while gathering 6440 news items in three languages produced by the Associated Press and the Swiss Press Agency. My research interests are the press agencies (their history and the anthropology of press agency journalism), qualitative and quantitative content analysis of press agency news items, Grounded Theory, and historical memory in contemporary news coverage concerning the restitution of Jewish looted assets during and after WWII (1943-2011). I teach “History of the State of Israel and Zionism” at the French Mehina in the Rothberg International School as well as “Academic Writing”. I lecture on “Qualitative Research Methods”, a core BA course at the Sammy Ofer Communication School in the IDC-Herzliya. I am also a Lecturer at The International School for Holocaust Studies at Yad Vashem. My post-doctoral research will focus on the independent historians' commission in Switzerland (in charge of defining the role of Switzerland in the “Final Solution”) as a source of information for journalists, experts for trials and reparation issues as well as moral mentors for public apologies.

Grants and Scholarships :

  • Post-Doctoral scholarship from the “Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah” (FMS), Paris. (2012)

  • Full Doctoral scholarship from the “Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah” (FMS), Paris. (2006-2008).

  • Doctoral Visiting Research Fellow Scholarship from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris, Egide/Lavoisier. (2005-2006).

  • Winner of the “Leg de la Veuve Halévy”, Paris III, Sorbonne Nouvelle. (2005).

  • MA Excellence Scholarship from the Sorbonne University for outstanding MA thesis (Summa Cum Laude), Paris. (2005).

Publications :


  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. (2013). Post-Transitional Apology: expressing contrition whilst addressing the Holocaust Transitional Justice’s failure, chapter 8, in Public Apology: between Ritual and Regret, Daniel Cuypers, Daniel Janssen, Jacques Haers, Barbara Segaert (eds), Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. (2008). La couverture agencière de l’affaire des « fonds juifs en déshérence » dans les banques suisses (1995-2005): Enjeux nationaux et internationaux du traitement de l’actualité concernant l’Histoire économique de la Shoah pour l’agence Télégraphique Suisse et Associated Press, Michael Palmer, et al, L’information Mondialisée, Paris : L’Harmattan, 53-61.

Other publications :

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. (2007). Swiss Press Agency and AP coverage of the Jewish accounts in Swiss banks story: 1995-2005 in International News viewed from France, Media professionals and academic research: parallel approaches, Proceedings of the Symposium, Sorbonne University, 189-198.

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. et.al. (2006). Media et information: pratiques et réalités de la diversité en France, Paris: Ed. Institut Panos.

Under Peer-Review :

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. Journalistic mechanisms used by press agencies to report a failed intelligence operation in a neutral country

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. Media reporting Transitional Justice failure: The Holocaust Heirless Assets owned by the Swiss banks affair covered by press agencies (1995-2012)

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. Reporting the Holocaust’s economical aftermaths: Ethical and technical issues encountered by the Swiss Press Agency journalists (1995-2012)

Conference Papers:
  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. (2013). Post-Transitional Apology: expressing contrition whilst addressing the Holocaust Transitional Justice’s failure. Panel presentation with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Department of Communication and Journalism at the ISPP Annual Conference, IDC Herzliya, Israel, July 8-11.2013, Political Psychology of Global conflict, Protest and Reconciliation.

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. (2013). Grounded Theory as a meta-methodology: researching news selection criteria during unsettled events and newsroom’s setting in time of concurrence and monopoly in the Swiss press agency. IAMCR pre-conference and ICA post-conference, Advancing Media Production Research, University of Leeds.

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. (2013). Silencing intelligence operation in Press Agencies: Swiss official and journalists' self-censorship whilst covering a failed Mossad operation, Bern 1998. International Communication Association (ICA) pre-conference, Royal Holloway, University of London, Media, War and Conflict Journal 5th anniversary conference.

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. (2012). The perception and the effectiveness of apologies for the purpose of restorative justice in different culture: The restitution process of Holocaust Heirless accounts held in Swiss banks (1995-2005) and its press coverage. The UCSIA workshop on 'The Ritual of Public Apology', Antwerpen University.

  • Herfroy-Mischler, A. (2007). Comparing Swiss press agency and Associated Press coverage in Switzerland and in Israel about the Holocaust heirless assets stored in Swiss banks affair (1995-2005): a way to define the time-scales of a contemporary historical event? The 50th anniversary IAMCR Conference at the UNESCO in Paris.