Al Jazeera English online’s Syrian Defector Tracker has won the Best Technical Innovation Award at the Online Media Awards in London.
The Syrian Defector Tracker is an interactive visualisation graph that tracks senior military officials, members of parliament and diplomats who have quit the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
With the help of an organisation named Movements.org, this tool tracked the defections of senior military officials [generals and colonels], members of parliament and diplomatic officials.
However, owing to media restrictions placed on Al Jazeera by the Syrian government, Al Jazeera could not verify all reports of defections, so whenever possible Al Jazeera only added names of people who announced their defection with a video and through reporting on the ground.
Al Jazeera also received two special commendations for their online Kenyan election coverage for Best Crowdsourcing and Citizen Journalism and for Best World News Site.
Al Jazeera’s The Stream also received two commendations for Outstanding Digital Team and Best Twitter handle for its use in creating a daily pioneering interactive discussion show that incorporates online and television audiences in the top news stories of the day.
Al Anstey, Managing Director of Al Jazeera English, said: “We are delighted to receive the award for Best Technical Innovation and three commendations from the Online Media Awards. These awards show the excellent work of our online team and The Stream with the support of New Media for the quality of our journalism on our website and all digital platforms. We are very pleased to be recognised for our story telling from our journalists throughout the world, and look forward to continuing to provide global, in-depth coverage to our growing audiences.”
Commenting on the success of The Stream who received two commendations, Anstey said: “The Stream has become a pioneering interactive discussion show that includes online, social, and television audiences debating the top news stories of the day. We are delighted to receive this award, which demonstrates Al Jazeera’s commitment to embracing new platforms to ensure we deliver high quality news and programmes”
Imad Musa, Head of Online for Al Jazeera English, said: “I am pleased for the Online Team and for our producers and developers along with the support from the New Media team who brought together groundbreaking journalism and technical innovation which resulted in the Syrian Defector Tracker. The award, along with the commendations in crowdsourcing the Kenyan elections and for Best World News website, is due to the mixture of original journalism and digital creativity that Al Jazeera English will always use to explain the most complicated issues of our times in an easy and interesting way.”
The Online Media Awards, now in its third year, has become established among the world’s top online media owners and editors as an important benchmark for the work of online media.