With the nation’s major online news sites featuring at most one story on the ongoing crisis in Iran on their “front pages”, just how many stories are they currently devoting to the death of Michael Jackson?

At 2.20pm:

  • ABC.net.au/newseleven stories (although it’s a little unclear, since several of them have multiple links on the front page):

    abc

  • The Agetwelve stories (careful clicking on the link – as with any visit to the increasingly visitor unfriendly Fairfax site, you’ll be attacked by pop-up video advertisements).
  • News.com.au – one neat info box linking to nine stories.
  • SBSfour stories.
  • NineMSN – one neat info box with four linked stores.
  • Yahoo Seven – one neat info box with two linked stories.
  • Crikeythree stories. (Although when this post hits the main page, that’ll make it four.)

NineMSN, Yahoo Seven, SBS and Crikey are, at present, the most restrained. The Age and the ABC are going a little bit bonkers. The Age has the excuse of having recently sacked many of its casual technical staff – but what’s going on at the ABC?

Meanwhile – how many days do you think it’ll be before one of these sites again has more stories on the major upheavals in Iran than stories about Michael Jackson? And how many days, if ever, until they all do?

UPDATE: The fact that the Michael Jackson story is smothering news reporting of the repression in Iran is of serious import not because of the sad indictment it represents on the priorities of the world’s media – but because the protests are happening NOW, and to a large extent they will live or die (the protests and the protesters) on the attention they receive from the rest of the world. The protesters might not want direct involvement from the west – but they would like Ahmadinejad and Khamenei to know they’re being watched.

The Iranian regime must be thanking Allah for the distraction.

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