Al Jazeera Digital won a record 35 medals, including seven gold, across 14 categories in the 41st annual Telly Awards that honours video content.
AJ Close Up, the documentary short-film boutique led by Andrew James Phillips, won a prize haul of five gold medals, including for best Online Webseries and four additional gold medals in standalone categories for Mexico’s Missing Sons, India’s Offside Girls, Bolivia’s Fight Club and Out of Sight in Kashmir. AJ Close Up also won five silver medals.
The video explainer series Start Here, hosted by Sandra Gathmann, also won in the news and information category for its coronavirus series and Fork the System, the online food-meets-current affairs series hosted by producers Joi Lee and HyoJin Park, struck gold in the online documentary category for Korea: a divided country, a united table.
AJ+ English also bagged silver for the Untold America episode Life as a turban-wearing American Trucker, hosted by Shreen Khan and an episode from the multiple award-winning Direct From series hosted by Dena Takriri, Why is the Navy Exploding Bombs in Puerto Rico.
Newsfeed’s recent Webby Award audience award winner, Rohingya through the eyes of Al Jazeera’s journalists, also emerged with a silver medal in the social video’s impact category and a bronze for news and information.
The 2019 Emmy nominated virtual reality documentary boutique, AJ Contrast, emerged with two silver Telly wins for Still Here, the virtual meets augmented reality immersive project that looks at the challenges facing African American women who, after years in prison, struggle to reintegrate into gentrified New York City neighbourhoods.
“The playing field for video driven media has never been more competitive,” said Yaser Bishr, the executive director of Digital at Al Jazeera Media Network.
“I’m proud of our teams for demonstrating extraordinary diversity and innovation and for continually pushing the boundaries to create new shows that inform with heart.
“Our engagement numbers and awards across multiple categories indicate that our cutting-edge AJ Digital teams continue to deliver news and information while reflecting the needs of our global audiences.”
Speaking to a diverse pool of 2020 entries against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, Telly Awards Managing Director Sabrina Dridje echoed the need to tell the stories of the underrepresented.
“Now is a more important time than ever to give a platform to those creators bringing us global stories,” and to strive for “more equal playing fields for the marginalised”, she said.