When a Russian-operated airline went down in Sinai on October 31, killing all 224 on board, it drew together Russia, the UK and Egypt in what has now become a battle over the airwaves to contain negative publicity around their own countries' involvement.

In Egypt, President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi, keen to avoid any more economic damage to the country's beleaguered tourism industry, downplayed the possibility of terrorism and any criticisms of security at the Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

Russia and its President Vladimir Putin have worked to undermine the idea that it was a retaliation by ISIL provoked by Russia's bombing campaign in Syria.

Meanwhile, Britain and its NATO allies have used the crash as an opportunity to criticise Russia's involvement in the Syrian conflict. All these competing narratives are obscuring the facts.

Talking us through the story are: Hamid Dabashi, a professor at Columbia University; Marwa Maziad, a columnist at Egypt's Al Masry Al Youm; Mark Le Vine, a professor of History at the University of California; and Sputnik International journalist, Dmitry Babich.


Other news stories on our radar this week: In Malaysia, the country's largest independent online news outlet has been raided twice in four days over a story on government corruption; Pakistan's media regulator is rolling out a ban on all TV and radio coverage of militant groups; and a Canadian news magazine is taking flak for publishing a cover story featuring former Guantanamo prisoner, Omar Khadr.


Could robots be the journalists of the future? 

You may not have realised it, but some of the data-driven journalism you have seen online - financial reporting, sports updates or earthquake alerts - may have been produced by algorithms without any human involvement.

There are obvious upsides for news organisations - more stories, quick turnaround, and fewer people to pay. But do we know the full implications of automated journalism?

The Listening Post's Meenakshi Ravi takes a look.


Typically when clients look for an ad agency, they ask for a free sample of their work called a 'spec', before they commit. For the ad agency, that means working without any guarantee of a return.

More and more ad agencies are now rejecting this model, and to make their point, Canadian ad agency Zulu Alpha Kilo tried the spec approach with some other industries and put together a video on their responses.

#SayNoToSpecWork seems to have resonated, and the video has racked up more than a million views in just four days.

Source: Al Jazeera