Commencing in March, we began carrying out an end-of-month count of articles featured on the BBC News website’s Middle East page according to the twenty countries and two territories which have ‘country profiles’ on that page.
The count relates to the number of times an article appeared, thus reflecting both an article’s initial appearance and its exposure in terms of the number of days it was left up on the page. Three categories of articles were counted: headline articles appearing on the page with a short synopsis, non-headline articles and reports appearing in the page’s ‘Features & Analysis’ section.
In both March and April the number of articles concerning Israel came second only to the number about Syria. In May – as in the previous month – the category ‘Palestinian territories’ was divided to reflect articles relating to the Gaza Strip and those about the Palestinian Authority controlled areas A & B separately. Also in May, although it is not classed by the BBC as a country belonging to the Middle East, Turkey featured in a number of reports which appeared on the Middle East page (mainly to do with the civil war in Syria and the PKK).
To enlarge, click on the table below.
Once again – understandably, given the circumstances – Syria received the most exposure on the BBC News website’s Middle East page during May. In second place was Egypt (largely due to the high number of features concerning that country) and in third place Iraq, where some 1,000 people were killed during that month. Fourth was Israel and fifth Iran, with most of the articles – and in particular the features – relating to the upcoming elections in that country.