Qatar-based media company, Al Jazeera Media Network has signed an agreement with Huawei, a global leading ICT solutions provider to enhance its online presence across all media platforms. The partnership will see Huawei provide media cloud technology allowing both parties to explore and examine the best options and solutions to transform Al Jazeera’s online platform. The new media technology will also support video production and broadcast as well as focus on digitalising and archiving the network’s analog content online.
ELAN Media, the media division of the ELAN Group, has become the exclusive digital media sales representative for the Arabic-language edition of The Huffington Post, Huffpost Arabi. The division has partnered with Integral Media Strategies as well as The Huffington Post to introduce Huffpost Arabi to the Middle East. Founded by CEO Wadah Khanfar, former Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network, Integral Media Strategies is a digital content hub that produces online news catered to the Arab region. Based out of London, the hub will be working with HuffPost Arabi to produce and share the latest stories from the Arab world.
“We are proud of the partnership with ELAN Media, a company with established roots in the market and a developed footprint across many leading websites in the region,” says Wadah. “We are confident in their ability to promote HuffPost as a go-to advertising platform for companies in the Arab world. We want to publish great content that advertisers will be excited to support.
Jaber Al-Ansari, Group Chief Executive Officer, ELAN Group, adds “We are proud to establish The Huffington Post and even more so to help introduce their Arabic edition to the Middle East. We have been in the media market for over a decade and have developed extensive knowledge and practice in the region. Our partnership model allows us to leverage this expertise and partner with global brands that are experts in their respective fields, giving people of the Middle East diversity in choice and access to more substance than what is available. We believe our partnership with HuffPost Arabi will be mutually beneficial to both our audiences.”
Al Jazeera Arabic has become the first Arab news channel to reach ten million followers on Facebook. Having already secured its status as the most-watched Arab channel on TV, this Facebook achievement further highlights Al Jazeera’s goal to become the number one pan-Arab news outlet across all media platforms.
“The Arab viewer since 1996 has evolved from a TV viewer to someone who now absorbs news content on TV, tablets, desktops and mobile whenever and wherever they want,” says Yaser Abuhilalah, Managing Director, Al Jazeera Arabic. “Al Jazeera will always hold true to its values of journalism and fearless reporting, however it will change and adapt to new technology and platforms on which it is delivered. The constant evolution in news consumption is not due to the strategy of the channel but is due to the partnership with you, the viewer, the follower and the consumer. Each of the ten million followers on Facebook is a partner, same as anyone who shares our content on Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus, as well as the person who watches Al Jazeera on TV. I hope the partnership will expand and will continue to be enhanced.”
Al Jazeera Arabic’s Facebook page provides followers the ability to engage with the latest news, analysis and features. In December 2014, the page reach improved from appearing on 1.5 million timelines daily to 4 million. At the same time, the rate of engagement through comments, shares and clicks increased from 100,000 to 220,000 per day.
Al Jazeera Media Network is to permanently terminate broadcasting via satellites Badr-4 and Badr-5 as of January 1, 2015. With new channel bundles broadcasting through satellite Es’hailsat 1, this move comes as part of the network’s efforts to provide its viewers in the MENA region with uninterrupted satellite TV broadcasting, as Al Jazeera channels have seen deliberate jamming in the wake of its coverage of the Arab uprisings. Included in the move are Al Jazeera Arabic, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Mubhaser-Misr, Al Jazeera Documentary Channel and Al Jazeera America.
“Al Jazeera has carefully investigated and considered the intentional jamming of its signal in recent years,” says Ibrahim Nassar, Manager of RF & Teleport Engineering, Al Jazeera Media Network. “The jamming is part of an orchestrated and multifaceted campaign to block the network’s signal and internet websites from it viewers.”
Es’hailSat covers the same geographic area as Arabsat and provides viewers with secure and uninterrupted transmission with more powerful abilities to hold off signal interference attempts. Nassar added that the move to Es’hailSat does not require viewers to adjust their satellite dish location or the satellite receiver.
Nilesat viewers can still watch Al Jazeera channels in the GCC, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Yemen, Sudan and Djibouti via Nilesat (EAST) 11636 V, FEC: 3/4 and Symbol Rate 27500; in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania, Al Jazeera channels are available via Nilesat (WEST) 10992 V, FEC: 3/4 and Symbol Rate 27500
In commemoration of the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Al Jazeera Media Network has launched Palestine Remix. The interactive website will allow users access to some of Al Jazeera’s best documentaries on Palestine, and enables people to cut-and-paste footage to tell stories and share it immediately through different social media platforms. The remix tool is a built-in simplistic video editing software that allows users to build their short films in minutes. The project also contains interactive maps and timelines, granting users a better understanding of the Palestinian issue and the opportunity to contextualise it.
“This project is not just about telling the important story of Palestine,” says Rawan Damen, Project Manager, Palestine Remix. “It’s about creating new ones. We want to give you a new way to understand, tell and share stories about Palestine. That why we’ve created Palestine Remix – to put the power of storytelling into your hands.”
The database provides the user the ability to watch full documentaries with their full transcripts, allowing the visitor to click on a word in the transcript and go directly to the specific point in the film. The user can also pick and choose, as well as mix and match the extracts of different films, view full films, or search the full transcripts using any word, name, place or concept. The database contains 84 hours in four languages, with more than 250 people, 580 places and a timeline that spans 215 years. It also provides drone footage of iconic places in historic Palestine – Jerusalem, Acre, Gaza and many others.
Palestine Remix is the first of its kind on the Palestinian issues, has a version specifically for mobile users and will be a mobile app before the end of 2014.
Al Jazeera Media Network has secured a deal with telecommunications provider Ooredoo to build a global media cloud which will connect its international bureaus. Signed at Al Jazeera’s Doha headquarters, the cloud will allow the network to connect with its main hubs in Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, Asia and Africa, as well as linking with its 70 bureaus around the world. The media cloud will enable Al Jazeera to share videos, reports and breaking news with its editorial teams instantly, aiding preparation for broadcast on the network’s news channels.
“One of Al Jazeera Media Network’s objectives is to become a world class network operation,” says Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, Chairperson, Al Jazeera. “This global media cloud project and initiative will help the network achieve this goal by bringing the journalists and editorial workforce on a common communication platform. This partnership with Ooredoo will leverage the news capabilities of the channel and enhance user experience.”
Ooredoo Chairperson, Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani adds, “Al Jazeera is a globally-recognised brand, and Ooredoo is proud to be building infrastructure that will enable the company to take its coverage to the next level. In winning this competitive bid against some of the world’s largest technology companies, we are showing that Ooredoo is a world-class provider of cutting-edge business solutions.”
Al Jazeera has launched AJ+, a connected global news community. With socially shareable content, AJ+ will highlight human struggles and achievements, as well as providing context on the world’s most prevalent news stories.
“AJ+ gives Al Jazeera the flexibility to innovate, grow and adjust in an era of rapid change in the news industry,” says Dr. Yaser Bishr, Director of Strategy and Development, Al Jazeera Media Network. “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, making the delivery and consumption of news fast, dynamic and simple. These cards are divided into the following sectors –
- Video: This section offers bite-size videos containing relevant information that is shareable.
- Debate: AJ+ enables you to vote on a certain issue, take a stand and advocate your position within the community.
- Conversation: This space dives deeper into issues, connecting you with the global community to engage and learn from one another.
- Quiz: Take a quiz and test your knowledge on issues, a novel way to explore stories.
- Art: The section is designed to highlight key points around issues, and is designed to share on local streams.
- Resource: Let AJ+ Google stories for you, this space will make your life a bit easier with links to relevant stories, articles and bits of information.
With over eight million views, AJ+ content will continue to be made available via its dedicated YouTube channel, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Qatar-based satellite company Es’hailSat has announced commercial operations on its new satellite, Es’hail 1, will commence on December 30, 2013. The start of broadcast operations catering to the general public follows the commencement of Es’hail 1’s commercial service of the Al Jazeera Media Network channels in October.
Es’hailSat confirmed its sponsorship of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2014, which will coincide with live coverage on the Es’hail 1 satellite. The tournament, hosted by the Qatar Tennis Federation, will take place from December 30, 2013 through to January 4, 2014, and will be broadcast in high-definition across the Middle East and North Africa.
The satellite, launched in August from Kourou in French Guiana, will offer extended broadcast capacity of high-definition channels in the region. A second satellite, Es’hail 2, is due to launch in 2016.