Numbers Crunch 311.
(photo credit: Mrkay Design)
The eyes of JPost readers, like the eyes of the world, were on Iran and its nuclear program this week, as the International Atomic Energy Agency released a damning report on the Islamic Republic. On mainstream news media and social media alike, both locally and abroad, the waves of the Web were abuzz with talk of Iran.
JPost Top Five most-read stories: 1. US ‘absolutely’ concerned Israel will attack Iran2. Report: ‘UK speeding up planning for potential US-led Iran attack’3. Analysis: What may be involved in an Israeli strike on Iran4. Israel to speed up West Bank building after UNESCO vote5. Navy intercepts Gaza-bound boats, nobody injured
In the JPost Top Five, with the exception of two relics from last week’s news — the UNESCO story and the interception of a small flotilla — all stories related to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Unlike in recent weeks, there were many crossovers between the most-read stories and the most active threads on JPost forums. Reader dialogue was also ongoing on other recent current events — UNESCO’s recognition of Palestine as a member, the Palestinian statehood bid, and the flotilla interception.Most-active threads: 1. Israel to speed up West Bank building after UNESCO vote2. Abbas: We ‘don’t care,’ we’re going for statehood3. US, EU criticize Israeli plans to speed West Bank building4. US ‘absolutely’ concerned Israel will attack Iran5
. US freezes UNESCO funds for recognizing Palestine
Not surprisingly, JPost’s Iranian threat section jumped up the most-visited page list to top position in the past week.Top 5 JPost sections:1. Iranian threat2. Opinion3. Defense4. Middle East5. Jewish World
It didn’t take long for the release of the IAEA report to impact social media; Trendsmap
showed that #iran
were the top two hashtags in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv as well as in Tehran.
The week before the report was released, Israeli leaders from across the spectrum came out for and against public discussion on a possible Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. In a JPost poll, 40 percent of readers said that such dialogue was appropriate, and in fact works to increase pressure on Iran. A similar percentage, however, responded that such media flurry could increase the chance of war (18%) and represent media tendencies towards sensationalism (23%).
YouTube, however, didn’t quite catch up to the rest of the media this past week. Four of the five most-viewed news and political videos, according to the PRC’s New Media Index
, related to the death and burial of ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Likewise, the video-sharing site’s Newsroom
again featured footage from ‘Occupy’ protests as the most-viewed clips.
Elsewhere in foreign media, the Middle East attracted less attention in the US last week. The PRC’s News Interest Index
found that only 7% of views were about the Gaddafi story, which accounted for 4% of news coverage. The October 23 earthquake in Turkey took up 3% of US coverage, according to the PRC’s News Coverage Index
from last week.
Last month, meanwhile, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press conducted an online survey
of US adults to see what the public knows about the news. One of the
“more difficult visual” questions on the poll asked respondents to
identify Israel on a map of the Middle East. The results, published last
week, found that a majority (57%) were able to correctly select Israel
from a list of four countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey).
Eighty percent of college graduates correctly identified Israel on the
map, compared to 41% of those with no tertiary education.
Another question, which was found to be more difficult than the map
item, asked respondents which of four symbols is associated with Islam.
Forty-two percent of respondents correctly identified the Muslim
crescent, though 34% mistakenly picked the Hindu Ohm symbol. The report
suggested that “it may have reminded some people of Arabic characters.”
The Star of David and the cross, the other two options in the multiple
choice questions, were picked less often. Respondents with university
degrees were 30 points more likely to answer the question correctly.
And for the random fact of the week, Mashable found that the cause which
gets the most attention on social media is animal rights, followed by
environmental issues. An infographic
cited by the popular tech-site suggested that the American Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ decision to hire a full-time
social media person has been responsible for pulling together some
75,000 Twitter followers and over 1 million fans on Facebook.From news sites to blogs, tweets to
videos, The Numbers Crunch is a weekly column which zooms out and brings
you the big picture online, from Israel, the Middle East and around the
world, and poll results from JPost.com.
The writer is the Internet desk manager at
The Jerusalem Post