Al Jazeera Digital wins Online Journalism Award

Interview driven podcast The Take wins for deep dives into Al Jazeera correspondents’ global coverage.

The series is hosted by veteran Al Jazeera journalist Malika Bilal [Al Jazeera]

In a year marked by ongoing pandemic disruptions, Al Jazeera Digital’s news and current affairs podcast The Take won top prize in its category in the 2021 Online Journalism (OJA) Awards.

The full roster of winners was announced online and during an annual conference hosted by the OJA parent group, the Online News Association, in Philadelphia on October 16.

The Take beat out fellow finalists Bloomberg and National Geographic to win in the Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling, Ongoing Series category.

Marking breadth and diversity, The Take covered a wide range of stories in 2021, from “The ignored warnings of the US Capitol insurrection” and skyrocketing deaths and healthcare shortages “On the front lines of India’s second wave of COVID-19” to forced expulsions of Palestinians in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

The podcast, now in its third year, features interviews with correspondents and field journalists from Al Jazeera’s international bureaus who share their take on the stories they’ve been covering, and with others who are living at the centre of global news events.

The Take is executive produced by Stacey Samuel and publishes three new episodes a week. The series is hosted by veteran Al Jazeera journalist Malika Bilal who, earlier this year, won Best Podcast Host in the 2021 Gracie Awards. Bilal joined The Take in 2020 after eight years as co-host of Al Jazeera’s The Stream, the 2013 Gracie Award-winning TV news talk show centred on online community participation.

“I’m very proud of this dedicated, hardworking group,” said Carlos van Meek, Al Jazeera director of Digital Innovation and Programs. “In a very short time, The Take team have established themselves in the top tier of international news podcasters. Their relentless pursuit of in-depth analysis and stories from the Al Jazeera Media Network’s field journalists and correspondents has contextualised and deepened our understanding of important stories worldwide.”

The multiple award-winning Al Jazeera English documentary strand 101 East also emerged as a finalist in two OJA categories for “The Plunder of West Papua.”

A collaboration with Al Jazeera Digital’s interactives unit AJLabs, the reporting project uncovers how Asia’s largest remaining rainforests are being sold for $5 a hectare in dubious timber deals. The investigation shared finalist nods with competitors The New York Times and Chicago Tribune.

Source: Al Jazeera