Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gaza - top news story on Google News

One of the things that has been amazing me since the war in Gaza started is how prominent the coverage has been all around the world (not just in Israel or the Arab world). One way to measure this is through looking at the Google news front page - which lists the most popular topics plus how many news articles are devoted to each topic. I couldn't figure out how to make a screenshot of the page, so I've turned it into a PDF and put it on my Google Sites wiki, where it's available as a document with the name Google News.pdf. This is on the home page of the wiki.

The "Top Stories" are about Obama's speech today on the economy (4,524 articles), the Madoff scandal (368 articles), and Blagojevich (520 articles). Certainly from the perspective of people in the U.S., the economy is currently the main story. 

When we turn to the "World" stories, the top one is about Gaza and Israel (33,226 news articles), followed by the Russians turning off natural gas for Europe (7,538 articles), the sacking of the Pakistani security chief (apparently because he admitted that the surviving Mumbai gunman actually is Pakistani) (5,081 articles). 

So, at least according to the Google news algorithm, the top story in the world today is Israel's attacks on Gaza and the conditions in Gaza. Isn't this kind of peculiar?

1 comment:

  1. Kind of peculiar? Absolutely.

    And I think it's an obstacle to peace, even. But I don't think it's especially sinister. People all over the world feel some sense of connection to the region. Not only because of oil (especially insidious), but because they know the names Jerusalem and Hebron from their own cultures.