On May 11, 2022, Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was shot and killed while reporting from the Occupied West Bank. Investigations have shown that she was deliberately targeted and killed by an Israeli Army sniper. Shireen was a veteran journalist with over 25 years of experience reporting on the plight of Palestinians.
AJ+ felt a sense of duty to showcase who Shireen was and to ensure that journalists, regardless of where they live, are not intimidated or silenced. We immediately coordinated our coverage across our four language divisions, producing over 300 videos and posts, which generated nearly 30 million views. Despite the challenges of promoting content critical of the Israeli occupation on social media platforms, our coverage managed to draw attention to the tragedy.
Our reporting challenged the initial explanations put forth by Israeli authorities and highlighted the conduct of those involved in the investigation and funeral proceedings. We believe that our efforts have helped hold Israel accountable for its response and have contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of the unjust circumstances surrounding Shireen’s death.
We are proud of our coverage of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death and believe it has served the public interest by shedding light on an important story and by holding those in power accountable to their actions.
After the tragic news of Shireen Abu Akleh’s death, our team mobilized our resources in video production to cover the story comprehensively in four different languages. We first reported the details as they emerged, and documented the Israeli response to the initial coverage with straightforward, fact-based reports.
As we delved deeper into the story, we produced longer-format pieces that explored Shireen’s life and work from multiple perspectives. We spoke to her colleagues, family, neighbors, and friends, highlighting the tributes dedicated to her as a testament to the impact of her death.
Importantly, we also found that Shireen was not alone, but one of more than 50 journalists killed by Israel since 2000 and developed presenter-led responses that contextualized her murder within this broader pattern of violence. Additionally, we examined the differences in coverage between Western media outlets and their treatment of the Palestinian struggle.
We approached our coverage with a sense of duty and dedication, working seamlessly across four languages to ensure that every angle was covered. Our efforts were driven by a shared empathy for an esteemed colleague and her loved ones, and by a desire to highlight the implications of her murder for journalists the world over.
Our coverage of Shireen Abu Akleh’s tragic death generated more than 300 videos and posts across our 4 languages and multiple platforms, with a total of nearly 30 million views. We consider this to be a significant achievement, especially given the challenges of promoting content critical of the Israeli occupation or supportive of Palestine on social media platforms.
The attention we generated helped to keep a spotlight on important discussions in the global discourse whilst holding Israel to account for its response to the tragedy. Our reporting challenged the initial explanations put forth by Israeli authorities, and called to task the conduct of those involved in the investigation and Israeli efforts to disrupt Shireen’s funeral proceedings. We find solace in the fact that our efforts have contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of the circumstances surrounding Shireen Abu Akleh’s death and have prevented Israel from claiming ignorance or absolving itself of responsibility.
We are proud to have been able to serve our combined audiences through this coverage and to know we have served the public interest by shedding light on an important story and, in so doing, to hold the powerful accountable for their actions.