Al Jazeera earned three audience honors at the 2020 Shorty Awards for Social Media & Brands.
Al Jazeera Digital took home two awards, one Gold Audience Honor for its news and current affairs explainer series, Start Here, and an Audience Honor for its AJEnglish Twitter team and Al Jazeera English won a Gold Audience Honor for the series All Hail the Algorithm.
Start Here won a Gold Audience Honor in the Instructional category. Hosted by Sandra Gathmann, the weekly current affairs show breaks down complex issues, providing entry points into stories that are dominating the headlines – all in about seven minutes.
“We really tried to do something different this time around,” said Carlos van Meek, Director of Digital Innovation and Programming, “both in terms of content creation and how to better address audience development and engagement. Earning accolades for a job well done is a great boost for our people who work so hard to make a difference.”
All Hail the Algorithm also won a Gold Audience Honor in the Branded Series category. The five-part series, produced by Al Jazeera English and presented by Digital Senior Producer Ali Rae, explores how algorithms are shaping human experience – from privacy concerns in Jordan and the UK to the spread of fake news in Mexico.
“Social media platforms are intensely competitive spaces for us as producers,” said Meenakshi Ravi, Executive Producer for All Hail the Algorithm. “Winning the Shorty Audience Honor is a recognition of our production quality and the depth of our editorial content. Every award drives us to work harder and smarter to do journalism that is meaningful and arresting and we intend to keep at it.”
Al Jazeera Digital’s Twitter team, @AJEnglish, also won an Audience Honor for best Twitter Presence. The team, led by Digital Senior Producer Gehad Kenawy, delivers on-the-pulse reports of developing news stories and underrepresented communities. @AJEnglish was recognized for its coverage of issues that have shaped global news over the past year – from the Rohingya crisis and Brexit to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hong Kong protests and the ongoing war in Yemen.
Medalists emerged as jury nominees and audience favorites from a variety of applicants including ABC News, CBS News and MTV.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Shorty awards gala, annually held in New York, was canceled. Instead, the event was presented online on May 3, with celebrity presenters, influencers and audiences tuning in virtually.