Al Jazeera, the Arab world's leading source for news, today announced a range of initiatives intended to spark a conversation and drive understanding, respect and tolerance for difference of opinions and beliefs. Called "We Are Al Jazeera", and launched at the beginning of the network’s 20th year, the effort includes a regional creative campaign, new programming and a call for social media engagement across the Arab world to hear all opinions. The campaign is inspired by the diversity of opinion in the Arab world. It seeks to show that Al Jazeera is well placed as a platform for dialogue because it is itself diverse, with thousands of staff from 70 countries around the world.
"We are proud of our heritage as the first Arabic-language news channel to deliver high quality, impartial coverage of world events", said Yaser Abuhilalah, Managing Director of Al Jazeera Arabic. “We report from the point of the view of the people, using our different experiences to widen our vision. We reflect reality as it is, with its multitude of beliefs and views. This diversity enriches all of us. Today we call on people across the Arab world to join Al Jazeera in a respectful and open conversation about the region's future."
A key part of the initiatives is a television series about the people behind Al Jazeera. The new series explores the diversity within the network and allows viewers an in-depth look at the people at Al Jazeera. “We Are Al Jazeera” starts next week with famed presenter Mohamed Krichen talking intimately and revealingly about his career. The series begins on Thursday 19th November and will air weekly at 8.30pm Mecca-time.
These announcements were made during an event at Al Jazeera studios in Doha in the presence of Al Jazeera Arabic staff and members of the press. Hosted by Al Jazeera news anchor Fairouz Zayani, the event was held as a televised news programme, featuring guest Asef Hamidi, Al Jazeera Arabic Director of News.
Announced ahead of the event was a social media initiative intended to solicit questions from viewers about Al Jazeera via the network’s Arabic social media channels @HonaAlJazeera and @AJArabic. This ‘open door’ initiative to spur conversation kicked off yesterday, and will continue through the month of November. Al Jazeera staff will be on hand and interacting with the audience. Of those who participate, several will be chosen to travel to Doha to ask their questions to senior staff themselves in filmed segments. More information about the social media campaign can be found on the social media channels.
"Al Jazeera's belief in free speech means we want everyone to express their opinion freely, and we encourage respectful reasoned debate and differences of opinion as something that is healthy. We live in a complex world, and our region is at the centre of today's complexity. We are working hard to tell this story, which is no longer marked by just “the opinion and the other opinion” any more – but all the multitude of opinions that exist in the Arab world today", said Abuhilalah.
Abdulla Al Najjar, Executive Director of Global Brand and Communications at Al Jazeera said:
“In a world where the truth is always under attack, Al Jazeera is continually looking for ways to create deeper understanding of issues and events. This initiative engages our audiences in a direct dialogue with us, and is another cornerstone on that journey. I'm proud to launch this initiative to our audiences and look forward to its contributions enriching dialogue and conversation."
The creative components of the campaign highlight specific differences from recent headlines and can be found online at wearealjazeera.net.
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