AJ+

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AJ+
AJ+ new logo.png
Launched Soft Launch
June 13, 2014 (2014-06-13) (English)
April 23, 2015 (2015-04-23) (Spanish) November 30, 2015 (2015-11-30) (Arabic)
Full Launch
September 15, 2014 (2014-09-15) (English)
Network Al Jazeera
YouTube
Owned by Al Jazeera Media Network
Picture format 1080p HD (depends on connection)
Slogan "Experience.Empower.Engage"
Country United States (English), (Spanish)
Qatar (Arabic)
Broadcast area Worldwide
Headquarters 118 King Street,
San Francisco, California (English), (Spanish)
Doha (Arabic)
Replaced Current TV (English), (Spanish) (occupies former building and studio)
Sister channel(s) Al Jazeera English (English)
Website AJ+
Streaming media
AJ+ English Facebook
YouTube
Twitter
Instagram
Medium
AJ+ Spanish Facebook
Twitter
AJ+ Arabic Facebook
Twitter
YouTube
Native Apps Android
iOS
Apple Watch
Apple TV

AJ+ is an online news and current events channel run by Al Jazeera Media Network (AJMN). The service is available on its mobile app (iOS and Android), YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter with written content on Medium. English, Arabic and Spanish languages versions are currently live.

Work on the channel started in December 2012, shortly after Al Jazeera established an office in San Francisco. The first YouTube channel was created on December 17, 2013, after a year of preparation in response to increasing popularity of online news content among young people. The channel then had a soft launch on June 13, 2014. A full launch followed on September 15, 2014.

Format[edit]

AJ+ produces video and media directly to social platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram), through native apps on mobile devices (iOS and Android) and Smart TV platforms (Apple TV, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV).

AJ+ is separate from Al Jazeera's other cable and satellite news channels, though it shares the network's current 68 bureaus with the other channels.

The channel is headquartered in San Francisco, California, in the expanded former headquarters and studio of Current TV. The channel has branch offices in Doha, Qatar, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur and Nairobi.[1] It also collects and creates content through freelancers in other areas of interest.

Despite being based in the United States, the content of the channel is formatted for a global audience similar to Al Jazeera English. The channel has no hosts or anchors, and live reporting plays a lesser role. Most content is available on demand.[citation needed]

AJ+ offers news coverage from around the world, and also covers topics like lifestyle, culture and technology with very little text. Its videos range from 15 seconds to 10 minutes.

The channel is currently experimenting with various storytelling formats.[2] It supports a high level of user interactions in the app and its Facebook and Twitter platforms as well.[citation needed]

An Arabic version of AJ+ was launched in 2015. There is also a test Spanish version of the channel based out of San Francisco. A Turkish-language version of the channel has also been discussed.

Videos from the channel are occasionally featured on the Al Jazeera English and, before its closure, America websites as a further in-depth feature of that website if the site is covering the same topic.[3][4]

History[edit]

Alternate logo and logo pre-launch

Al Jazeera Media Network originally planned to launch an internet-only TV channel in 2010 as part of its social media strategy but later became pre-occupied with the Arab Spring. Plans for an internet-only channel were re-launched upon the launch of Al Jazeera America when Al Jazeera Media Network had to geo-block most video from Al Jazeera English including the channel's live stream to satisfy concerns from cable and satellite providers in the United States. The move was met with dissatisfaction from both viewers and Al Jazeera English producers and hosts.[5]

Also with the purchase of Current TV to use for Al Jazeera America, AJMN acquired Current's former headquarters in San Francisco which was perfect for the type of channel Al Jazeera wanted to build being in the new media mecca of the San Francisco Bay Area and the building being already proposed to accommodate an online operation due to the original format of Current as a user-generated channel with heavy Internet integration.

In January 2012 members of the network's social media team relocated some of its staff to San Francisco to focus on building AJ+. After months of research and numerous pilots, the AJMN executive management were convinced of the project and providing funding and resources to scale. AJ+ is the first incubated project out Al Jazeera's Innovation & Incubation Department.[6]

In October 2013, it was announced that Al Jazeera Media Network would establish an internet-only TV channel based entirely on line called AJ+ based in San Francisco to launch sometime in 2014.[7] The channel placed several test videos on YouTube in late 2013 followed by a soft launch in June 2014 with a full launch complete with a mobile app later in 2014.[8]

The channel was announced as launched on June 13, 2014, by Al Jazeera PR with several videos posted to YouTube and a new Facebook page which it refers to as the AJ+ Community along with a new-look website with an updated logo.[9] The channel was soft launched during a presentation by Al Jazeera on new media at the Global Editors Network summit in Barcelona. The channel soft launched beginning with the tweet "We can confirm that this is our first official tweet. Because that's what real journalism is about. We're @AJPlus. Hello World :)".[10] The tweet was partly a pun of the first tweet sent out by the CIA earlier in the month.

In July 2014, the channel created a fellowship program and issued a call for fellows from five regions of the world in North America, South America, The Middle East, Europe, The Asia Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa.[11] In August 2014, the channel branched out to Instagram.[12] On September 15, 2014, the channel launched fully with the release of its mobile app. The launch was attended by Al Jazeera Media Network Director General Mostefa Souag who stated "AJ reshaped media in 1996 when it launched, Sept 15th marks the new phase of change with AJ+".[13]

AJ+ Español soft launched in April 2015 to start testing content in a different language.

According to Variety, in June 2015 AJ+ became the second largest news video producer on Facebook, after NowThis News.[6] They are the ninth largest video producer on the platform overall.[14]

On August 12, 2015, AJ+ announced the appointment of its first managing director, Dima Khatib.[15]

In August 2015, AJ+ released data showing that it has a 600% engagement rate on Facebook, making the network's Facebook page one of the most engaged news brands in the world.[16][17]

In October 2015, AJ+ announced that the channel had reached over one billion views across its platforms.[18]

Video format[edit]

  • Real Time - Breaking and topical news published directly to social feeds, ranging in length from 30 seconds to three minutes
  • In Depth - Video features, contextual background pieces, monthly themes, and shows
    • Animated Explainers
    • Satire
    • Current Events
    • AJ+ Asks
  • Short Docs - documentaries generally ranging in length from 6–10 minutes
  • Video Journalists - Correspondent pieces shot on location around the world.
  • TED & AJ+ - explainers in cooperation with TED

Mobile app[edit]

The AJ+ Mobile App launched in September 2014 on iOS and Android platforms. The app employs a card and stack structure for navigation, and focuses primarily on user and social engagement.

Presenters[edit]

  • Dena Takruri – Presenter/producer
  • Francesca Fiorentini – Presenter/producer
  • Tarek Abu-Esber – Presenter/producer
  • Sana Saeed – Presenter/producer

Former presenters

AJ+ occasionally features Al Jazeera English and before shutdown Al Jazeera America correspondents depending upon what story they are covering.

Awards and Honors[edit]

  • In 2015, AJ+ won a Webby Award for Online Film & Video, News & Information [21]
  • At the 2015 Webby Awards, AJ+ was also honored in the categories of
    • Online Film & Video, News & Politics: Individual Episode (Ayotzinapa Student Killings Ignite Mexico and the Internet) [22]
    • Online Film & Video, Documentary: Series (AJ+ Short Docs)[23]
    • Mobile Sites & Apps, News (AJ+ Mobile App)[24]
  • In 2015, the AJ+ Mobile App was a finalist for the Society for News Design's World's Best Digital Design award [25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Janko Roettgers. "Al Jazeera is staffing up for the launch of its AJ+ online video news network". 
  2. ^ Hadas Gold. "Al Jazeera looks to online news with AJ+". POLITICO. 
  3. ^ 5:46PM ET (2014-10-28). "Hong Kong students demonstrate the art of protest | Al Jazeera America". America.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  4. ^ 4:05PM ET (2014-12-02). "Bhopal tragedy: Toxic legacy of the world's worst industrial disaster | Al Jazeera America". America.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  5. ^ Janko Roettgers. "An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at AJ+, Al Jazeera’s upcoming online news network". 
  6. ^ a b Janko Roettgers (2015-07-30). "Al Jazeera’s AJ+ Finds Millions Of Eyeballs on Facebook". Variety. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  7. ^ "MIPCOM Cannes: Al Jazeera to launch AJ+ Online Channel". 
  8. ^ Janko Roettgers. "Al Jazeera’s AJ+ publishes first videos on YouTube". 
  9. ^ "Look inside the AJ+ lab". 
  10. ^ "AJ+ on Twitter". Twitter. 
  11. ^ "AJ+ Fellowship Program". Archived from the original on August 5, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  12. ^ ajplus on Instagram
  13. ^ Riyaad Minty (September 15, 2014). "DG of @AlJazeera - AJ reshaped media in 1996 when it launched - Sept 15th marks the new phase of change with @ajplus". Twitter. 
  14. ^ "The Biggest Facebook Video Publishers In June | The Whip". Blog.newswhip.com. June 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Photo credit: Issak Photography Al Jazeera Media". Pr.aljazeera.com. August 12, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  16. ^ "How AJ+ reaches 600% of its audience on Facebook | Media news". Journalism.co.uk. August 5, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  17. ^ 4 Aug 2015 (August 4, 2015). "Al Jazeera PR on Twitter: "Did you know on @Facebook, more people are engaging with @ajplus than @BBCNews @CNN and @vicenews combined. http://t.co/TMhHHWYIDZ"". Twitter.com. Retrieved July 2, 2016.  External link in |title= (help)
  18. ^ October 12, 2015 (October 12, 2015). "AJ+ passes one billion milestone". Digital TV Europe. Retrieved July 2, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Al Jazeera America Launches Debate Program “Third Rail” With Host Imran Garda | Al Jazeera America". America.aljazeera.com. 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  20. ^ Ebony Bowden. "Al Jazeera fires comedian Dan Ilic for using studio to apply for The Daily Show". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  21. ^ "AJ+". The Webby Awards. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  22. ^ "Ayotzinapa Student Killings Ignite Mexico and the Internet". The Webby Awards. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  23. ^ "AJ+ Short Docs". The Webby Awards. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  24. ^ "AJ+". The Webby Awards. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 
  25. ^ 8:00 p.m. "World’s Best-Designed Digital Finalists | SNDDC 2015 Workshop". Snd.org. Retrieved 2016-07-02. 

External links[edit]