Strained US-Israel relations
Israel's announcement to expand settlements in the West Bank and we assess the coverage of the massacre in Nigeria.
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2010 20:05 GMT

This week on the Listening Post - an ill-timed announcement of new settlements in East Jerusalem throws US-Israeli relations into a tailspin and the news coverage follows. And as violence grips central Nigeria, the media picks up on the religious tone of the clashes, but little else.

Joe Biden, the US vice president trip to Israel in early March had been billed as the most significant state visit of the Obama Administration to the country.

But then came an announcement that 1600 new homes were to be built in East Jerusalem. For the Obama and Netanyahu administrations, the expansion of settlements has been cause of serious disagreements and the timing of the announcement – right in the middle of vice president Biden's visit soured the mood between the two allies.

The unexpected rift put the issue of illegal settlements into the headlines. The strong language from the White House was echoed in the US media. The reporting in the Arab world was a little more skeptical – media commentators there are waiting for the American rhetoric to be followed by action.

Nigeria violence

In our Newsdivide this week we look at how a disagreement between allies impacted the airtime and the coverage of Israel’s settlements.

Our feature this week covers the coverage of the violence in central Nigeria this March. The story, as told through most of the global media was about killings and reprisal killings - between Muslim and Christian Nigerians.

That is just one aspect to a very complex issue that also has land, political and economic roots. There is danger when the media break a story down to such a simple narrative, the social fault line between religious groups, they risk fanning the flames of an already volatile situation.

The Listening Post's Salah Khadr takes a look at the coverage of Nigeria to try and assess whether or not the world’s media are getting the story right.

In this week's Newsbytes: There is a media war in Thailand between its prime ministers - both old and new. It is the break up of the giants as Google walks out of China. In Ethiopia, the government admits to jamming Voice of America's Amharic broadcasts and finally some good news for the newspaper industry, the UK's Telegraph Media Group announces a profit.

For our web video of the week we picked another funny video from the guys at collegehumor.com. Google Earth uses satellite imagery and aerial photography to create a digital map of the world. This video parodies the idea of what it would be like if two geeks were set the task of photographing the entire world. Watch it here.

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