Al Jazeera America - The Stream
Team members: Jennifer Salan - Senior Executive Producer, Rami Khater - Executive Producer for Digital, Sarah Moriarty - Senior Producer , Lisa Fletcher - Host, Wojciech Grojec - Web Producer, Julio Varela - Digital Producer, Wajahat Ali - Co-host and Digital Producer
About this entry
The Stream, on Al Jazeera America, is a daily news television show and online community powered by social media and citizen journalism. Airing live from Washington, D.C., The Stream is hosted by veteran journalist Lisa Fletcher and co-hosted by writer and cultural commentator Wajahat Ali. The Stream analyzes current events and relevant topics through interactions with viewers via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ Hangouts and Skype. Our social media team and second screen technology enables viewers to engage 24-hours-a-day with new content, comments, user-generated videos and a variety of posts.
The case for why this entry should win a Shorty
The Stream is the first truly social news program on air today. Much more than a “stunt” or something reserved for special events, social media is the star of every story. It is part of the entire editorial process, and often the topics that are covered on air are sourced from conversations happening online.
The Stream’s unique format taps into the extraordinary reach and depth that social media offers to disseminate the news. From initial show planning, social media plays a pivotal role in shaping the topics discussed and the sides of the story shown. We go far beyond merely displaying live tweets and reading user comments. By letting our viewers weigh in on the stories that matter to them, The Stream seeks out unheard voices, new perspectives and untold angles on the most compelling stories of the day.
We have successfully used crowdsourcing to identify trending topics. A great example of this was The Stream’s #OpenEditorial. The hashtag trended across the east coast and The Stream sourced six topics on-air from this community pitch. This unique engagement, as exemplified through #OpenEditorial, shows how crowdsourcing and social media can bring community topics to the forefront of the news.
The Stream is a truly integrated production with staff touching every element of the show – from sourcing online content to curating on-air editorial. Their goal is to create a space for conversation on specific subjects that might not make it into traditional newscasts, but that air because they are important to our community. Popular topics have included “The Fukushima Fallout”, “Max Brooks: From Disaster Fiction to Real Life Preparedness”, “Should Genetically Engineered Foods be Labeled?”, and "India's Third Gender," which was recently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Journalism.
The Stream has been recognized by key influencers in the social space including Russell Simmons, Alyssa Milano, Glenn Greenwald, and Evan Rachel Wood. With nearly 400,000 followers across its social channels, The Stream and hosts Lisa Fletcher and Wajahat Ali interact with our audience 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to find the stories that matter to them.