The year 2022 will go down in history as a pivotal time for the news industry, marked by a series of world-shaking events. In 24/7 news cycles, Al Jazeera English’s Twitter channel responded to these events, providing informative and engaging coverage that built our audience base and cultivated an understanding of the ways that global events are impacting our lives.
Our focus on organic publishing and native content revealed the human story. By putting people at the center of our reporting and ensuring their voices were heard, we were able to provide our audience with a firmer grasp of the issues shaping our world. From the Russian invasion of Ukraine to the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, to the devastating floods in Pakistan and the shifting social and political fortunes of governments in the US, UK, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, China - and beyond - our AJEnglish Twitter account covered the news with accuracy and integrity.
In 2022, the Al Jazeera English Twitter team focused on producing unique and engaging native content while utilizing the platform's native tools and features to the fullest. We provided context through stories that deepened our audience's understanding of the most pressing global issues through political analyses and thoughtful explorations of social injustice, environmental degradation, political unrest and much, much more.
SHIREEN ABU AKLEH
Our team's dedication to delivering the news in a fair and impartial way further put to the test when Israeli forces shot and killed our colleague, Shireen Abu Akleh, in the occupied West Bank. AJEnglish Twitter didn’t stop at, breaking and continuing coverage of the murder, but leveraged the platform to campaign for justice for Shireen by submitting a formal request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute those responsible for killing a veteran Palestinian-American journalist.
WAR IN UKRAINE
Our coverage on the Russian invasion of Ukraine focused primarily on breaking the news by producing a Twitter thread with live updates from the centers of warfare, video analyses, and short-digestible-explainers interviewing academics, political analysts, and weapons experts. As the initial invasion morphed into a war of attrition, we produced a daily thread, supplemented by a live blog from our news desks in Doha and London.
PAKISTAN POLITICAL UNREST
And when Prime Minister Imran Khan was removed from office after losing a no-confidence vote, our team provided breaking and continued coverage through a live thread supplemented by a blog and regular updates. Our commitment to delivering engaging and innovative content has helped to significantly expand our Twitter coverage year in and out, and 2022 was no exception: we grew our follower base to more than 8.2 million – an increase of 12.6% over 2021 – and generated record engagement with more than 8.6 million likes, comments and retweets.
Our focus on leveraging Twitter threads and hosting Twitter Space, and investing in original video content and finding innovative ways to distribute our most important written journalism resulted in a total of 101 million video views, a 22% increase compared with the previous year. By optimizing original video content, we saw a 24% increase in overall video engagement and outperformed several competitors, including CNN International and BBC News.
As Al Jazeera continues to expand its reach and impact in reporting global news, AJEnglish's Twitter channel remains a crucial part of our social and digital strategy to connect and engage with audiences far and wide. Our team is dedicated to bringing comprehensive coverage of the stories that are shaping our world through the voices of those most affected, and of helping our followers understand the implications for us all.