Al Jazeera: A step ahead in a convergent world

In April 2011, Al Jazeera launched a new social media powered program where all content was sourced from social sites like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube and online audiences invited to interact and contribute in real time. What more, all content was gathered and curated using a social media aggregation tool called Storify, then just launched.

The show, called The Stream, was just the latest in social media innovations Al Jazeera had incorporated into their programming and accolades poured in swift from peers and competitors across the globe. The New York Times called it “an indication of where mainstream TV news is heading” while Havard University’s Neiman Journalism Lab hailed its success in  “not only in fully integrating social media into a news operation, but also in embracing the medium as an inherent feature of the new news programming.”

Al Jazeera was one of the first broadcast channel, and still one of the few, to fully embrace the internet to make its programming and unique coverage available to a global online audience. The web enabled the channel to circumvent harassment, censorship and sanctions to aid a revolution, report ground-breaking news and win a global audience. The website’s opinion page has long hosted the lettered arguments of some of the world’s most prolific and well known thinkers and writers and in September 2012, Al Jazeera became a competitor in the digital publishing world with the launch of its monthly magazine. A class example of an integrated newsroom paving the way? Certainly.


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