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#Podcast: Talking social media and interactives at Al Jazeera

Image by M. Keefe on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Image by M. Keefe on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

This podcast provides an in-depth look at innovations in social media and interactives at Al Jazeera.

We hear how journalists go beyond Twitter and Facebook to crowdsource, using SMS and phone calls to gather the voices on the ground in different parts of the world.

Sarah Marshall, technology editor at, speaks to:

  • Riyaad Minty, head of social media for Al Jazeera
  • Mohammed Haddad, interative producer, Al Jazeera English

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.

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#Podcast: The changing face of journalism in Iraq

March 19th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Podcast

To coincide with the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, this week’s podcast looks at how journalism has changed in the country.

From an explosion of new media outlets through the civil war and into the revolution in communications technology, the journalists we spoke to have a wealth of experience in the country.

  • Dahr Jamail, author and investigative journalist, Al-Jazeera English
  • Osama Mohammed, Baghdad bureau chief, Al-Jazeera English
  • Nic Robertson, award-winning foreign correspondent, CNN
  • Steven Lee Myers, embedded journalist and Baghdad bureau chief 2009-2011, the New York Times

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.

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Voice of America: China’s Foreign Ministry questioned on Al Jazeera journalist visa issue

Image by jamiejohndavies on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Voice of America has published what it says is a transcript of questions put to the spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, in relation to Al Jazeera English’s report that its China correspondent Melissa Chan had her visa renewal application “refused”. reported on Tuesday (8 May) that Al Jazeera English has closed down its Beijing bureau after Chan’s visa was apparently “refused” by authorities.

Al Jazeera said in its report “it is continuing to request a presence in China”.

Voice of America has published “a transcript of some of the questions and answers at the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s daily briefing” in which a spokesman is said to have responded to questions from foreign journalists about what had happened.

Hong Lei: I have stressed that China welcomes foreign journalists to report in China and we have also provided convenience to foreign journalists in reporting objectively in China. I think you have been in China for several years and are very clear about this. At the same time I want to stress that foreign journalists should abide by Chinese laws and regulations while reporting in China.

Read Voice of America’s full article here.

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Storify stories now on news reader app Pulse

April 19th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Social media and blogging

Curated storytelling tool Storify has partnered with news reader app Pulse.

The move marks Storify’s first syndication deal and sees curated stories by Storify users such as Al Jazeera’s the Stream, the Washington Post and the White House communications team available on the social newsreader app.

Pulse, which is available for the iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire and Nook, allows readers to chose to add their favourite news providers and feeds giving a personalised reading experience.

A Storified blog post by the company explains how to add your Storify creations to your personalised Pulse app.

You can also see your stories – or any account’s stories – on Pulse by subscribing to the RSS feed at the top of Storify profile pages. Then call the feeds up from Google Reader on Pulse. You’ll be able to see all those accounts’ stories on Pulse from then on.
For more on the syndication deal see this Storify.

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Al Jazeera: Video filmed by Toulouse gunman did not meet code of ethics

March 28th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Press freedom and ethics

Al Jazeera English has said it will not broadcast footage filmed by a gunman who shot and killed seven people in southern France as it does not meet its code of ethics.

Three soldiers, three Jewish children and a rabbi died in the three shooting attacks in Toulouse and Montauban earlier this month. Gunman Mohammed Merah died following a 30-hour siege.

The video, said to have been filmed by Merah and named “Al Qaeda attaque la France” – meaning “Al-Qaeda attacks France”, was reportedly “sent on a USB memory stick to Al Jazeera’s office in Paris”.

The broadcaster said it has passed it on to police.

The report on Al Jazeera’s website states: “The video shows the attacks in chronological order, with audible gunshots and voices of the killer and the victims. But it does not show the face of the confessed murderer, Mohammed Merah, and it does not contain a statement from him.

The network on Tuesday said the video did not add any information that was not already in public domain.

The report adds that Zied Tarrouche, Al Jazeera’s Paris bureau chief, said that “the images were a bit shaky but of a high technical quality”.

He also said the video had clearly been manipulated after the fact, with religious songs and recitations of Quranic verses laid over the footage.

Al Jazeera also reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday urged television networks not to broadcast the video and that family members of the victims have asked that the footage not be aired.

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Al Jazeera to broadcast Syria documentary filmed entirely on iPhone

In an interesting development for mobile journalism, Al Jazeera is due to broadcast a documentary tomorrow night (Wednesday, 14 March) on Syria which has been filmed by a journalist using just an iPhone due to safety concerns.

According to a press release, the film, called ‘Syria: Songs of Defiance‘, “follows the journalist, who is not named to protect the people he spoke to, on a journey amongst the uprising in Syria”.

At the start of the documentary, the release adds, the correspondent for Al Jazeera will be heard saying:

I can’t tell you my name. I’ve spent many months secretly in Syria for Al Jazeera.

I cannot show my face and my voice is disguised to conceal my identity, because I don’t want to endanger my contacts in Syria.

Because carrying a camera would be risky, I took my cell phone with me as I moved around the country and captured images from the uprising that have so far remained unseen.

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New York Times: Arab Spring reshapes market for TV news

October 31st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

The New York Times published an interesting article yesterday (30 October) on potential changes facing the Arab television news market, looking at the impact of both the Arab Spring and the impending influx of new providers, national and local.

As author Eric Pfanner writes, the area is “poised for a shot of new competition” with two 24-hour news channels in the pipeline: Alarab from media company Rotana, to be run in partnership with Bloomberg and Sky Arabia, to be launched by BSkyB in spring next year.

As well as this, following the uprisings across the Arab world, the industry may start to see more local media and new channels opening up, he adds.

One reason that news providers like Al Jazeera attracted such a large following was that they were beyond the control of authoritarian regimes in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, where governments kept the local media on a tight leash.

Now that those regimes have fallen, the local news media are moving toward greater openness, and new channels providing news and commentary on current events have sprung up.

This could eventually undermine the audience for so-called pan-Arab channels beamed in from outside via satellite, analysts say.

Read more on how the Arab Spring is reshaping the market for TV news.


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#jpod in depth: How some news outlets are going it alone in the world of WikiLeaks

October 28th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Podcast, Press freedom and ethics

In this week’s #jpod news editor Rachel McAthy looks at the issue of document leaks in light of WikiLeak’s announcement earlier this week that the “financial blockade” has forced it to temporarily suspend publishing operations. At the beginning of the year news outlets started to launch their own internal WikiLeaks-style platforms to enable anonymous submissions.

In this podcast we speak to the head of Al Jazeera’s Transparency Unit Clayton Swisher about the broadcaster’s decision to set up the platform and how it is to re-launch in the ‘coming weeks’, and El Pais journalist Joseba Elola about why he values a relationship with WikiLeaks and the difficulties of going it alone.

You can also hear more about OpenLeaks (referred to in the podcast) in the below audio, in an interview with co-founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg who spoke to at the World Editors Forum in Vienna earlier this month:

You can sign up to our iTunes podcast feed for future audio.


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#followjourn – @AlanFisher Alan Fisher/journalist

October 21st, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Recommended journalists

Who? Alan Fisher

Where? Alan is senior correspondent for Al Jazeera English.

Twitter? @AlanFisher

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips, we are recommending journalists to follow online too. Recommended journalists can be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to rachel at; or to @journalismnews.

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Al Jazeera calls for answers on whereabouts of journalist Dorothy Parvaz

Questions about the whereabouts of Al Jazeera English journalist Dorothy Parvaz remain unanswered this week, after going missing upon her arrival in Syria in April. Earlier this month reported that Al Jazeera claimed to have been given information that Parvaz had been deported to Iran.

But on Saturday Al Jazeera reported that Iran’s foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi said he had no information about her whereabouts.

Asked on Saturday whether Syria had handed over the journalist, Salehi said: “I have no information.” Salehi, speaking to Al Jazeera, had previously urged Syria to investigate Parvaz’s case.

In a statement Al Jazeera said it is continuing to call for information about the journalist’s whereabouts, access to her, and for her immediate release.

Though Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s Foreign Minister, has said he has no information about her whereabouts, Al Jazeera has requested information from a number of ministries in Tehran in order to secure Dorothy’s release.

Yesterday, according to reports today such as this article by the Financial Times, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in a press conference that finding information on the “condition” of Parvaz is “important” for the country, but “stopped short of admitting that Ms Parvaz was in Iran”.

Mr Mehmanparast said that Ms Parvaz had attempted to enter Syria on “an expired Iranian visa” and “without a journalist visa” to report “clandestinely” to cover protests on behalf the Qatar-based broadcaster.

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