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A week of innovation from Al Jazeera ends with launch of mobile sites

January 16th, 2009Posted by in Broadcasting, Journalism, Multimedia

Media coverage on Al Jazeera English hasn’t always been positive, but since its launch it’s done some interesting things multimedia-wise: launching all its content on YouTube, in April 2007, for example (its English content page can be found here).

More broadly the Al Jazeera network, which includes the Arabic channels, has also not been afraid to try out new technology, with the launch of a ‘citizen-journalism upload portal’ for example.

This week we’ve reported on its video content partnership with the Independent newspaper site. While they’ve tightened up the PR act (no longer in-house, it’s managed by Brown Lloyd James, the same agency that handles press for the Telegraph group) these are newsworthy developments.

Events in Gaza have been a chance for Al Jazeera to experiment and show off its multimedia – through projects showcased at Al Jazeera Labs. Follow Al Jazeera’s head of new media, Mohamed Nanabhay, @Mohamed, on Twitter to find out more.

Particularly exciting is its release of material under a Creative Commons licence, in its 3.0 form – allowing other sites reproduce the broadcaster’s video content as long as they attribute the source.

Today comes further news from the broadcaster: the beta launch of its Arabic and English mobile websites, which will work on any mobile handset with web browsing ability.

“Users only need to bookmark the following web addresses on their mobile, for English news http://m.aljazeera.net/, and for Arabic news http://ma.aljazeera.net/,” a release from the company said.

“The mobile web initiative is one of the key services that is being launched as part of our New Media strategy”, Saeed Othman Bawazir, Al Jazeera’s director of technology, said in the release.

“The aim is to make our content more accessible to new audiences across various new platforms. With the launch of this mobile service, we hope to provide our audience with a customized news browsing experience on the mobile device of their choice,” he said.

This initiative includes ‘delivering video and other content over interactive platforms,’ such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and iTunes, the release said.


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