Tag Archives: Al Jazeera

Media release: Al Jazeera launches new social media show The Stream

Al Jazeera this week confirmed the launched its new social media show The Stream, which will aggregate stories from online sources and discussions.

The broadcaster claims the show is “the first of its kind” and demonstrates its “commitment to using new media as a key source for news and information”.

At the media140 conference last week, Al Jazeera’s head of social media Riyaad Minty spoke about the value of online sources such as bloggers within the country before and during the revolutions. He said that at its peak Al Jazeera’s citizen media platform Sharek was receiving up to 1,600 videos per day, prompting the broadcaster to work on building its resources to dealing with, and verifying, this material.

The Stream, which launched this week in beta form with broadcasting due to begin in May, will monitor activity on the web and use live breaking accounts to present its viewers “with real-time development from around the world” a release said.

There is also a microsite for the show which “will allow the conversation to continue 24-hours per day”.

Visitors are encouraged to take part in the editorial direction of the show by adding comments and links and will have the opportunity to watch the final programming preparations in the five minutes before the show goes live on air.

London protest planned in support of journalists imprisoned in Libya

A protest will take place on Thursday in support of three Al Jazeera journalists captured in Libya in March.

A video on Al Jazeera English’s YouTube channel says Ahmad val ould Eddin and cameramen Ammar Al-Hamdan and Kamel Al Tallou are being held illegally.

According to this article on Al Jazeera’s website, the three were held near Zintan in the northwest of the country and then imprisoned in Tripoli. The broadcaster says it has no information on why the trio are being held.

The National Union of Journalists is joining the protest, which will take place between noon and 4pm in front of the Libyan Embassy in Knightsbridge, London.

“We are demonstrating in support of our Al Jazeera colleagues because it is vital to their safety that attention is focused on their plight at a time when the enormity of events in Libya might cause them to be forgotten,” NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said in a statement.

Al Jazeera launches Twitter dashboard to track uprisings

Al Jazeera has launched a Twitter dashboard of the Arab uprisings to show what is being tweeted about and where.

One section shows the daily total of tweets mentioning hashtags for Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt and the average number of tweets per minute. These are also shown in a graph.

Another graphic shows the hashtag distribution for each country getting the most attention in the Twittersphere. Hashtags for Libya include various spellings of Libya and Gaddafi, plus #feb17

A Twitter feed is also included.


Washington Post: Al Jazeera saw the Arab revolutions coming, why didn’t the West?

The Washington Post has an article by the director general of the Al Jazeera network, Wadah Khanfar, who says the uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa were no surprise for Al Jazeera due to the network’s focus on grass roots journalism.

These unfolding transformations have been less of a surprise for us at al-Jazeera. Since our launch nearly 15 years ago, we have chosen to keep close to the Arab street, gauging its pulse and reflecting its aspirations. It was clear to us that a revolution was in the making, and it was happening far from the gaze of a tame and superficial establishment media that allied itself with the powerful center – on the assumption that the center is always safer and more important. Many media outlets in the region failed to recognize what was happening among the Arab grass roots. Keen to conduct interviews with high-level officials and ever willing to cover repetitious news conferences, they remained oblivious to what was happening on the ground.

Full post on the WashingtonPost.com at this link.

Libya could relax ban on foreign journalists on Friday

Libya is reportedly planning to allow some Western journalists to report from the capital, Tripoli, tomorrow, but has warned those who have already entered without proper government accreditation that they face immediate arrest and will be considered al-Qaeda collaborators.

Foreign media have been trying to gain access for the past week to cover the violent protests that have gripped the country, as protestors call for the end of Colonel Gaddafi’s 42-year rule.

Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya have been relying on user-generated content sent in from around the country to keep on top of the story. The Independent’s Robert Fisk managed to file a report from Tripoli following a brief visit there.

Gaddafi’s son said in an interview with Libyan state television that some journalists would be allowed into the capital Tripoli on Friday. The Washington Post says Libya will do this “so [journalists] can corroborate the government’s claim that the country remains under Gaddafi’s control”.

According to the US state department, Libyan officials say they will grant access to CNN, BBC Arabic and Al-Arabiya.

It said, however, that any reporters who have entered without government permission to cover the violent unrest sweeping the country risked “immediate arrest on the full range of possible immigration charges” and considered al-Qaeda “collaborators”.

The warning to news organisations from the US state department says: “Be advised, entering Libya to report on the events unfolding there is additionally hazardous with the government labeling unauthorized media as terrorist collaborators and claiming they will be arrested if caught.”

The government appears to have lost control of parts of eastern Libya, including the second biggest city Benghazi. As a result, some reporters have managed to get into the country by crossing the border from Egypt.

The Daily Mail says crowds in Benghazi “cheered as international journalists drove through the city – and the only shooting that could be heard was celebratory gunfire”.

CNN’s Ben Wedeman tweeted from the city yesterday: “As first western TV crew to make it to Benghazi we were greeted like liberators, pelted with candy, cheers and thanks. Very humbling.”

The Guardian’s Martin Chulov is there and has been posting updates on Audioboo. ITV News also has a team in the east of the country.

Al Jazeera gives the public a chance to ask the questions for Cameron interview

A series of monthly interviews with leaders across the world that gives the public the chance to ask the questions will feature David Cameron on 25 February.

World View, an Al Jazeera series, asks for questions to be sent in either by video or text.

More information on Al Jazeera’s YouTube channel at this link.

Blood and Dust: Vaughan Smith on the rescue teams saving lives in Afghanistan

Frontline Club founder and freelance filmmaker Vaughan Smith has produced a new film following two weeks embedded with the US Army’s 214th Aviation Regiment in Afghanistan.

The film, produced for Al Jazeera’s People & Power series, follows the trials of a US military air ambulance crew as they attempt to save the lives of soldiers, local nationals and Taliban fighters alike.

“I have done a fair number of military embeds in Afghanistan over the last few years,” says Smith, “but was concerned that I hadn’t filmed the suffering of war, just its machinery.”

“I have worked with Al Jazeera on this because I couldn’t find another news broadcaster in Britain that would show the film without cutting out the stronger images. I have huge respect for the way Al Jazeera as a broadcaster engages the world while so many others appear to retreat from it,” he adds.

Media Briefing editor Patrick Smith says: “What I enjoy about Vaughan’s work is its absence of politics. A BBC, Sky or CNN journalist may frame a report around whether the troops should be at war or not. This is just a document of professionals at work, doing their job, stitching people up in the most unimaginable heat and horror.”

More information on the Frontline Club site at this link.

OJR: Promoted tweets – the AdWords for live news?

Al Jazeera has started paying for tweets to promote its English-language Egypt coverage in the US.

Paul Bradshaw’s Online Journalism Blog compares the move to newspapers using Google Adwords to drive traffic to their sites – except that the sponsored tweets can be replied to and re-tweeted just like any other.

Twitter’s media team says Riyaad Minty, head of social media at Al Jazeera English, is operating the campaign like a news desk.

It also claims that Twitter has helped drive Al Jazeera site traffic up by 2,500 per cent in the last month and that the English language version is on course to triple its number of followers.

See the full story on Online Journalism Blog at this link.

Journalist resigns from Egypt’s Nile TV over ‘propaganda’

Nile TV anchorwoman Shahira Amin resigned today in protest at the state run channel’s coverage of the Egyptian uprising. She spoke to pan-Arabic broadcaster Al Jazeera about the reasons behind her decision.

I am determined to be on the side of the people, not the regime. That’s why I’m here.

I walked out yesterday, I can’t be part of the propaganda machine. I’m not going to feed the public lies.

Amin claimed that Nile TV was showing footage of President Mubarak’s supporters only, and not footage of protests and violence in Tahrir Square.

Listen to the full interview on YouTube below.

Al Jazeera reports its Cairo office attacked and burned

Arabic television network Al Jazeera has reported that its Cairo office has been attacked by “a gang of thugs”.

According to the network’s report, the office has “been burned along with all the equipment inside it.”

Al Jazeera’s Cairo office was reportedly shut down last Sunday, following the network’s coverage of protests in the country, with staff stripped of their press credentials and detained.

It has since reported interference with its coverage and, this morning, the replacing of a banner advert on its site by hackers with a slogan reading “Together for the collapse of Egypt”, which linked to a page criticising the broadcaster.