Over the past six months, the armed group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has honed its propaganda arm, and the content that it produces has grown more gruesome.

Earlier this month there was the video of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burnt alive. That was followed this week by footage that shows 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians being beheaded in Libya. It was the first time ISIL has released material that was filmed outside of its territories in Syria and Iraq. Each video – more compelling, visual and violent than the last - has drawn more countries into the fray.

In this week's lead piece we look at the intensifying media battle gripping the Middle East.

Talking us through the story are media scholar Barbie Zelizer; political commentator Rami Khouri; The Guardian's Middle East editor Ian Black; and media scholar and academic Adel Iskander.

Other media stories on our radar this week: Journalists in South Sudan and neighbouring Sudan come under pressure from the authorities; the chief political commentator of Britain's Daily Telegraph resigns over the paper's lack of coverage of the HSBC tax evasion story; and in the Philippines, a journalist is murdered in unknown circumstances, the second to be killed in the country this year.

Fonts and typefaces: The loaded letters of the news business

The way we receive news is often influenced by the way that the information is presented. How it is edited, the choice of images that illustrate the accompanying text - and the choice of typeface itself.

For most people, fonts may seem inconsequential but if you ran a newspaper, a TV station, or an online outlet, the font that you choose is key to the message that you want to convey. Fonts can set the tone of a story so selecting the right one is a decision that news organisations do not take lightly.

In this week's feature The Listening Post's Marcela Pizarro looks at the use of fonts in the news media.

The Netherlands-based World Press Photo's annual competition chronicles some of the most striking photographs of the past year. It has just announced the winners of 2014, and the selection offers a great retrospective of the biggest news stories of 2014. In this week's Endnote we have compiled some of our favourites.

Source: Al Jazeera