Final Newstrack: Closing Thoughts on Al Jazeera

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Through my semester of reading and exploring Al Jazeera, I got a closer look into what kind of news organization they are and what perspectives they bring to the table. They are a very unique website that doesn’t have a large following domestically, but do have a great following internationally. Here are some takeaways and things I learned about the global news giant:

  1. Al Jazeera’s Goals:

Al Jazeera outlines their detailed and fulfilling mission statement on their site and emphasize, “giving a voice to the voiceless”, and to show the diversity of the world by expanding on global media. They definitely serve their purpose well and hold up the standards they set for themselves. As I read the intimate and emotional stories that Al Jazeera covered, such as stories on Syrian refugees or the impoverished communities in Africa, the stories contain a personal touch that evoke emotion from readers, by presenting harsh realities that many of us are unfamiliar with.

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2. Global Footprint:

International news networks strive to have outlets and subsidiaries in as many areas of the world as possible, and Al Jazeera succeeds in that department more than most. With many news branches such as: Al Jazeera America, Al Jazeera Balkans, and Al Jazeera Arabic, they cover a wide array of areas that provide perspectives into those communities. Having reporters and “boots on the ground” to directly cover every area is a strong advantage to have and allows for accurate information to be provided to readers. I compare it to major businesses that have aspirations and goals to expand their company overseas to widen their impact. Al Jazeera does that and as a result, has created a global brand that is followed all over the world, increasing its impact.

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3. Methods to the Madness:

Given that this is a multimedia focused class, it’s important to note that Al Jazeera uses a wide variety of methods to cover stories in a more interactive and entertaining way. They use effective techniques consisting of: photo stories, short video documentaries, interactive timelines, and personal stories. These days, folks are looking for more than just straight news stories, they’re looking for stories with emotional stories, especially pertaining to serious and political news. Al Jazeera covers those desires and shares stories from people who usually do not have a voice, again fulfilling their mission statement. For example, as I covered previously in one of my blog posts, Al Jazeera created an interactive story on how mothers in Bolivia live in respects to motherhood and child rearing. The powerful photos and little stories included in the feature were very personal and detailed, which makes readers feel as if they are there listening to the mothers stories in person. This focus on evoking emotion with their stories really makes Al Jazeera stand out.

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4. Closing Thoughts:

Personally, I hadn’t ever really explored Al Jazeera prior to taking this class. My news consumption mainly consists of reading and perusing through CNN, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and ESPN. However, with my new found knowledge of Al Jazeera, I might plan on incorporating them into my cycle of news media outlets to look out for. They are a great source to go to if you are interested in learning more about what’s going on internationally, whether on a massive global or smaller more personal touch. Hearing and reading stories you won’t normally see on CNN, is a nice change of pace that broadens your horizons.