AJ Contrast Immersive Scoops Grand Jury Prize and Two First Places; AJ Digital shares three top awards with AJE’s 101 East for This is Myanmar’s State of Fear.
Al Jazeera Digital and Al Jazeera English (AJE) won a record six Drum Online Media Awards and two “Highly Commended” runners-up for a record-breaking total of eight awards on April 29 in London.
This was the first time that the AJ Digital and AJE teams shared the Grand Prix and Online Media Chair prizes – awards given directly by the jury – for work that stood out from the competition.
Al Jazeera’s immersive storytelling and innovation studio, AJ Contrast, won the Grand Prize and emerged as the winner in the Editorial and Technical Innovation of the Year categories for Inaccessible Cities. Designed as an immersive multimedia experience, the interactive site brings the audience into the lived experience of three women with disabilities as they struggle to navigate their lives in Mumbai, Lagos and New York.
Inaccessible Cities joins Gold Awards and First Jury Awards from the 2022 New York Festivals and Gracie Awards for work by, for and about women. The project’s goal is to raise awareness of an important but often overlooked issue, said Zahra Rasool, head of AJ Contrast.
“We wanted to show how the lack of accessible public transport and infrastructure prevents people with disabilities – especially women – from participating fully and independently in society,” she said.
“Our goal is to continue to inspire a new standard for digital news content that raises awareness through collaboration with journalists with disabilities, local talent and the incredible women who are the subject of this interactive experience. On behalf of people with disabilities around the world, we are honored to receive these prestigious awards.
In a competitive field that included CNN, BBC, ITV and Insider, the Al Jazeera English interactive survey This is Myanmar’s State of Fear won the Drum Online Media Chair award and top prizes in the Best Site Design and Best Campaign/Investigative Journalism categories.
A forensic investigation into the aftermath of the February 2021 military coup in Myanmar, This is Myanmar’s State of Fear worked with Al Jazeera Digital’s interactive unit, AJLabs, to design and adapt the interactive site for a mobile interactive audience.
Drawing on alleged cases of torture, mysterious deaths, disappearances and detention without charge, the exposé draws on reports from Al Jazeera’s documentaries 101 East, Inside Myanmar’s Crackdown and Myanmar: State of Fear, as well as data from the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners. , resulting in an array of data-driven, rich digital content.
The interactive site also won the first jury prize at the 2022 Sigma Awards, beating more than 600 other competitors.
“We are very proud to receive this recognition for what has been a fantastic team effort,” said 101 East Senior Supervising Producer Nick Olle.
“This data-driven project combined investigative reporting and hard-hitting production to document the six months following the February 1, 2021 military coup. It is intended to be an enduring digital resource for audiences in line.”
Al Jazeera Digital also emerged with two “highly recommended” runners-up.
AJLabs was highly commended in the Technical Innovation of the Year category for its interactive data visualization, The Arab Spring Retweeted and Start Here, AJ Digital’s news and current affairs explainer series, were highly commended for Video Team of the Year.
The Drum Online Media Awards recognize original and thought-provoking work across all platforms. They are open to editorial teams and media owners of all sizes and recognize impactful and innovative work from around the world.