Al Jazeera Media Network Launches a New Era of Storytelling

AJ+ available now via free iOS and Android app

SAN FRANCISCO – 15 SEPTEMBER 2014 – Al Jazeera Media Network announced today the launch of AJ+, a connected, global news community. With socially shareable content, AJ+ will highlight human struggles and achievements while providing context on the world’s biggest stories.

“AJ+ gives Al Jazeera the flexibility to innovate and grow and adjust in an era of rapid change in the news industry,” said Dr. Yaser Bishr, Al Jazeera Media Network’s Executive Director of Strategy and Development. “AJ+ is topical, direct and tonally relevant to a younger audience that relies heavily on mobile consumption and their social streams.”

AJ+ is available as a free iOS and Android app that conveys content via cards and stacks, making the delivery and consumption of news fast, dynamic and simple.

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Al Jazeera focuses on the global need for shelter throughout September

Doha, 14 September: What constitutes ‘home’ for millions around the world? What is the quality of life in different shelters and communities?  This month Al Jazeera English features special coverage on these questions, with broadcast, online and programming content available at

Managing Director of Al Jazeera English, Al Anstey, comments “In all corners of the globe millions of people are struggling to find shelter and establish a home for them and their families.  The movement of millions from rural areas to cities to find work is unprecedented and is impacting on populations and countries world-wide.  This is a topic which touches people everywhere, and deserves in-depth coverage. This month Al Jazeera English shows all aspects of this wide ranging issue in our News output, Programmes, and our digital content on all platforms, providing our audiences enlightening, sharp, and engaging stories from across the world.” 

News coverage on global shelter through September

Throughout September, Al Jazeera Correspondents will be reporting across the globe, giving in-depth insight into the lives and experiences of some of the 800 million individuals living in slums worldwide.

Senior Correspondent  Mohammed Adow reports  from Makoko, Nigeria from a slum built on water. The oily waters provide a way of life for the fishing community but also the greatest dangers, spreading disease through the cramped population. On September 13, Senior Correspondent Rob Reynolds reports from the notorious LA compound ‘The Jungle’, revealing that even the wealthiest cities in America have places where homeless and impoverished people survive. Both stories are available online.

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Al Jazeera Exclusive: South Sudan rebel threatened UN just before helicopter shooting

Al Jazeera has aired exclusive audio of South Sudan Liberation Army rebel commander Peter Gadet threatening to shoot incoming UN aircraft, just nine days before a UN helicopter was shot down on 26 August 2014 over Bentiu in Unity State, South Sudan. Three Russian crew were killed in the crash.

“We tell you that tomorrow we fight,” Gadet warns a UN representative. “We fire at all airplanes incoming.”

When the UN representative says the planes are for the United Stations Mission in Sudan (UNMISS), Gadet interrupts. “No, no, no, no. Why you, why you use your airplanes for SPLA to come together today, to cargo with SPLA?” 

The UN denies his accusation that they are supporting his enemy, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

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Ferguson events continue to be documented by Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines team

By popular demand “Ferguson - City Under Siege” is re-airing today 9 September, updated with latest events


By popular demand, Al Jazeera’s award-winning investigative series Fault Lines will re-air an updated version of its investigation covering the events in Ferguson over the past month.

The program has received positive reactions from around the globe, as it documented the escalating issues in Ferguson. Al Jazeera’s journalists in Ferguson themselves made international headlines after being targeted with tear gas during the police response.

“It was one of the most intense, militarized police responses that I’ve seen—and I’ve covered protests like this across the United States and internationally”, commented Fault Lines Correspondent Sebastian Walker. “It felt, and looked, like a war zone.”

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager was shot dead by a white police officer in the city of Ferguson, Missouri. The street protests and police response brought Ferguson into the national and international spotlight. The Fault Lines team travelled to Ferguson to witness the demonstrations and the subsequent police reaction - and to find out how Brown’s killing sparked something bigger, exposing tensions that have been bubbling beneath the surface for years.

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Funniest rumours about Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera has made light of the rumours and fake stories surrounding its brand, after months of false reports on regional and social media.

The ‘5 funniest rumours about Al Jazeera’ highlights some of the most ludicrous false reports, including that Lionel Messi was bribed to send messages to rebel fighters with his on-field movements.

View the video (with English subtitles here): 

Al Jazeera has also recently been the subject of a fake screen shot featuring a famous Bollywood film, which circulated on social media for a number of weeks, and decided to make light of this as well.


Al Jazeera Exclusive: Boeing 787 Dreamliner hit by more safety questions

Doha – 8th September

Al Jazeera investigation finds:
- Boeing insiders concerned by plane’s production process
- Evidence of drug taking among Boeing workers
- Boeing workers who say they wouldn’t fly on the 787
- Worries about battery fires persist

A year long Al Jazeera investigation has uncovered evidence that raises new questions about the safety of Boeing’s flagship “Dreamliner” plane.
Broken Dreams: The Boeing 787, a documentary by the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit, finds workers who have serious concerns about the safety of the “Dreamliner”.

The Boeing 787 faced issues in January last year when two battery failures led to fleets being grounded worldwide.

However, some Boeing employees say they have more issues with the plane than just the battery.

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Statement: Al Jazeera Arabic retracts US journalists article

Al Jazeera Arabic, the sister channel of Al Jazeera English, has retracted an article from its website which suggested the beheading of two US journalists by the Islamic State group had been staged.

Al Jazeera Arabic’s managing director, Yasser Abu Hilalah, said in a statement on Saturday that the article was misleading.

“In respect to families of the victims and as we share their grief, Al Jazeera Arabic’s website decided to retract an inaccurate article that questioned the legitimacy of James Foley and Steven Sotloff’s beheading videos after a theory surfaced on a number of American social media sites claiming they were produced as a pretext ahead of a possible US invasion of Syria.

"We want to take this as an opportunity to reiterate Al Jazeera’s previous position in condemning the kidnapping of the two journalists and condemning their killing as a heinous crime.

"We would like to also renew our call for the release of all kidnapped journalists throughout the world who were only carrying out their professional duty in seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.

"Al Jazeera had previously issued a statement before the killing of Sotloff, appealing to the kidnappers to release him and aired Sotloff’s mother’s message appealing to the kidnappers to release him.

"We, in Al Jazeera, would like to emphasise our policy of supporting the freedom of journalists and to protect them from any harm anywhere around the world."

Egyptian jail causes Al Jazeera journalist to miss birth of son

Jailed Al Jazeera journalist Baher Mohamed will become a father again today. His unjust imprisonment has however meant that he could not be at his wife Gehan’s side when she gave birth to a baby boy.

From his jail cell, Baher released a letter to the new arrival, to be named Haroun. The letter is a mix of sadness and hope for the child’s future, as well as some valuable wisdom for his two other children four year old Hazem, and three year old Fairouz.

Baher begins with sharing his hopes that there are better days ahead for Egypt:

Sorry because you were born where free people are behind bars, including your father. Sorry too because you have come to a society where its freedom’s restricted. But I promise you I will always fight for liberty. I don’t want you to give up on this society…because I am sure that soon everything will change for the better

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Al Jazeera investigates the battle for Africa

"When two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers."
- African proverb

The Battle For Africa, the first in a two-part People & Power  investigation into the effects of China’s increasing influence in Africa, premieres on Al Jazeera on Thursday, 28 August 2,014.

Emmy-winning Sierra Leonean journalist Sorious Samura travels to Kenya, to witness how the rise of Chinese business in Africa has changed the balance of power between African governments and the West. “African leaders can now look elsewhere for meaningful economic and political support,” says Sorious.


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Al Jazeera Media Network Opens Innovation Challenge

Global Online Competition about Nonlinear Narratives in Apps

The Innovation and Research group at Al Jazeera Media Network has kicked off its first major community initiative with an online Innovation Challenge. This is an open competition aiming to surface new ideas about storytelling in mobile and web applications.

The Innovation Challenge competition offers substantial rewards, including the possibility of future incubation of winning ideas, invitations to large innovation events in the future, and $25,000 in cash prizes.

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