The Numbers Crunch: Al-Qaida dominates news again

Palestinian statehood bid fervor dies down; talk of new iPhone, Google+, Facebook changes flood social media; Mideast low in US coverage.

Numbers Crunch 311 (photo credit: Mrkay Design)
Numbers Crunch 311
(photo credit: Mrkay Design)
The media fervor over the Palestinian statehood bid in the UN died down in the past two weeks, after dominating Israeli headlines throughout September. This week, JPost readers’ interests appeared to be less centralized, with the Top Five stories covering news across the region in both diplomacy and defense, as well as popular columnist Caroline Glick’s Rosh Hashana column.
Top Five most-read stories
1. US official confirms al-Qaida’s Awlaki killed in Yemen2. Panetta hints US opposed to unilateral action against Iran3. French UN envoy warns of ‘strong' risk of strike on Iran’4. 'Israel to tell UN Palestinians aren’t ready for statehood’5. Column One: A prayer for 5772
The most-read story on JPost was tied for the third biggest issue in US media, filling 5 percent of the newshole, according to the Pew Research Center’s News Coverage Index. A recent poll, meanwhile, found that over 70% of respondents believed that killing Awlaki was ethically acceptable.
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The other story in the third spot in US news coverage was the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor, while news related to the 2012 presidential election took the top slot at 15%. Not surprisingly, then, US President Barack Obama was the lead newsmaker, with 64 story mentions, according to the same PRC index. The Middle East got little attention in US news coverage last week, filling just 4% of the newshole.
JPost talkbackers, however, were still focused on the Palestinians’ efforts to have a state recognized, with three of the five most-active threads related to the issue.
Top Five most-active threads
1. Merkel chides Netanyahu over Jerusalem building plans2.'Israel to tell UN Palestinians aren’t ready for statehood'3. European Parliament: Palestinian statehood is legitimate4. Panetta arrives in Israel for meeting with PM, Barak5. Israel says 'yes' to Quartet framework for talks
On YouTube, meanwhile, protest videos again took the top spots on the site’s Newsroom this week, in keeping with trends throughout 2011. The difference this week was that dramatic footage was coming from New York, Iceland and Greece, rather than from the Middle East and North Africa as we’ve become accustomed to seeing.
Most notable were the Occupy Wall Street protests, of which thousands of clips were posted on the video sharing site.
And on social media, it was tech meets tech meets tech, with sites abuzz with talk of the new iPhone followed by the tragic death of Apple founder Steve Jobs, changes to Facebook and the announcement that the beta version of Google+ is open for all to use. The Pew Research Center’s New Media Index noted an interesting technological dissonance among bloggers - excitement in the build-up to the new Apple release (which turned out to be largely a let-down), juxtaposed with dissatisfaction about changes to both Facebook and Netflix.
On blogs, the new iPhone was the top subject, followed by Netflix and Google+, while on Twitter, Facebook changes were getting the most tweets, followed by the controversial execution of Troy Davis in Georgia and then Google+.
Back in Israel, talk of the mass social protests which marked the summer had largely calmed on Twitter, according to In fact, the top trend in Tel Aviv was #nobel, after Israeli scientist Dan Shechtman was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. There was far more Twitter activity in the Jerusalem and Hebron areas than in Gush Dan this week, according to the real-time trend mapping site.
From news sites to blogs, tweets to videos, The Numbers Crunch is a biweekly column which zooms out and brings you the big picture online, from Israel, the Middle East and around the world, and poll results from If you have stats to share, e-mail [email protected]
The writer is the Internet desk manager at The Jerusalem Post