Below is our regular end of month count of articles appearing on the Middle East page of the BBC News website according to the twenty-two countries and territories defined by the BBC as making up that region per the profiles on that page.
As in previous months (see ‘related articles’ below), the count relates to three categories of articles – headline, non-headline and features – with the total representing both the appearance of a report and its level of exposure in terms of the number of days it stayed up on the site.
Syria received most coverage on the BBC News website’s Middle East page throughout the month of April, followed by Iran – in part due to a considerable number of reports on the subject of that country’s nomination of a new UN envoy. Israel came third in terms of the amount of coverage and exposure (with the subject of the Israel-PLO talks of course featuring prominently) followed by Egypt, with a significant amount of the BBC’s reports from that country relating to the trial of Al Jazeera journalists there. Lebanon was to be found in fifth place and – despite the elections there – Iraq in sixth position. Elections in Algeria also prompted some rare BBC Middle East page coverage of events in that country.
Throughout the last fourteen months, Israel has remained consistently among the five countries receiving the most coverage on the BBC News website’s Middle East page.
Once again it is worth noting that one point highlighted in the 2012 report commissioned by the BBC Trust on the subject of the ‘Arab Spring’ was that of excessive focus on one particular Middle East issue.
“Although the review does not cover the period before December 2010, some BBC executives volunteered the view that in that period Middle East coverage focused too intensively on the Arab-Israel conflict, at the expense of the wider Arab world, so that the public was more surprised by the outbreak of the “Arab Spring” than it need have been.”
BBC Israel focus in numbers: March 2014 (includes links to all previous months)