Wednesday 23 February 2011

Middle East uprisings dominate press coverage

Popular protests across the Middle East dominated the UK press for the week ending Sunday 20 February, according to journalisted.

Shia-majority protests in Sunni-ruled Bahrain, with 5 people killed and 200 injured in clashes with the military, generated 227 articles; the aftermath of Egypt's revolution, with the military council in power, and protests rippling across the region, 226 articles; protests in Libya, with the death toll rising to hundreds in Colonel Gaddafi's military and mercenary crackdown, 150 articles; opposition-supported Iran protests, followed by harshest regime crackdown on the Green movement since 2009 elections, 146 articles.

The other foreign story capturing the headlines was Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi, indicted to stand trial on two charges of paying for under-age sex and abuse of power, which was covered in 133 articles.

Covered little, according to journalisted, were two Iranian 'training' warships pass through the Suez Canal for the first time since 1979, with Israel describing the move as 'provocation', 19 articles; British government faces criticism for weapons trading to Arab regimes and withdraws 44 export licenses from Bahrain, 12 articles; the Palestinian Authority cabinet reshuffles, amidst wariness of overdue general election and calls for democratic reform in face of regional protests, 4 articles; a Moroccan soldier dies of self-immolation wounds, ahead of weekend demonstrations calling for reform, 1 article.

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