AJ+ is Al Jazeera's digital-only offshoot, launched in 2014 to build a new kind of media outlet for digital natives. AJ+ has constantly experimented with new technologies and formats to push storytelling forward on different platforms. By betting on distributed, custom content and an editorial strategy centered on building audiences directly across Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and beyond, AJ+ has become one of the largest news media presences across social media platforms.
Statistics and publishing buzzwords aside, AJ+'s producers, editors and hosts have never lost sight of the outlet's mission: to give voice to the voiceless through authentic, fearless reporting and storytelling. The team has dedicated themselves to telling stories from the perspective of ordinary people whose lives are most impacted by the decisions made by those in power. AJ+ is committed to the global public good, promoting human rights, advocating for justice and holding power accountable. While AJ+'s coverage is passionate and explores the world through social issues, it is objective and factual. AJ+ has a uniquely diverse audience, and seeks to provide information and perspective to make the world knowable for those who wish to change it.
AJ+ understands that its audiences are global-minded, diverse and complex, and its focus is on coverage of a wider range of communities and issues, particularly those traditionally overlooked by other mainstream media outlets. The team aims to tell the stories that others might ignore. AJ+ accomplishes this by going beyond simple reporting of the news. The team creates a wide variety of content, from short animated explainers to live coverage and long-form pieces that provide audiences with deeper context.
Deepening Context Around Trending News
AJ+ aims to build context around the stories that matter. When President Trump threatened to defund Planned Parenthood in the first hundred days of the administration, AJ+ provided a pocket history of the organization. Instead of focusing solely on abortion, AJ+ detailed everything else Planned Parenthood does for communities.
Delivering Detailed Explainers Directly to Audiences
When it became clear that President Trump would rescind DACA, AJ+ decided to provide context and useful information directly to DACA recipients, instead of merely reporting on the event. AJ+ pre-produced a video that detailed everything DACA recipients would need to know – from what their rights are to how the next six months might play out.
Promoting Empowerment and Active Citizenship
If you're an avid consumer of news, the world can quickly appear to be a dark, harrowing place. AJ+ endeavors to not only deliver news and context, but also inspire audiences and show stories of ordinary people changing the world for the better. This piece is one of AJ+'s favorites: a man who travels the world giving free haircuts to homeless people.
Shining the Light on Disenfranchised Communities
AJ+'s Direct From series covers hot issues in the news directly from the field. These pieces delve into often under-reported stories with longer-form reporting and content. In one of the most recent Direct From segments, host Dena Takruri explored a lands right battle that emerged when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sued ancestral land owners and attempted to force them to sell their lands.
Defining Key Terms – The "WTF Is" Series
There are a lot of terms floating around the news, often some that people don't fully understand. AJ+ helps its audiences understand the exact meanings of words they're hearing in the news, so they can best understand the implications of the events covered. As such, AJ+ created a series that targeted key terms that sound familiar but that audiences may not have a grasp of. After President Trump signed executive orders in his first week in office, AJ+ launched "WTF is an Executive Order?" In the series, the team clearly explained each term, outlining what audiences needed to know beyond the definition.
AJ+ has grown its audience from the past three years to over ten million fans on Facebook, and over 320K subscribers and 95 million video views on YouTube. In 2016 alone, AJ+ has garnered over 6.1 billion organic views, 330 million engagements and a total organic reach of 9.5 billion on Facebook. With channels in English, Spanish, Arabic and soon-to-be French, AJ+'s success has shown that there's a need for a media outlet committed to covering news and issues for audiences seeking information to make a positive difference in their world.
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