Al Jazeera has won eight awards, including Brand of the Year, at the seventh annual Shorty Impact Awards.
Digital teams AJ Contrast and AJ+ francais won in multiple categories in the competition honouring purpose-driven, socially conscious digital work.
The prizes were conferred to two projects: Inaccessible Cities, AJ Contrast’s multiple award-winning, Emmy-nominated interactive website about women with disabilities, and Cameroon, Land of Welcome, AJ+ francais’s impact-driven video and social media report by Remy Nsabimana, based on the journalist’s personal experience as a Rwandan refugee.
Cameroon, Land of Welcome reveals the plight of millions of refugees on the African continent, including more than 500,000 who fled the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Nsabimana returns to the camps where he grew up to create an intimate, compelling picture of the challenges facing refugees who have spent decades stateless and in hiding, without identity cards, birth certificates or passports.
The impact of the story was far-reaching, prompting the governments of Rwanda and Cameroon to change their policy on refugees, and the Rwandan government to announce the appointment of its first honorary consul to Cameroon, clearing the way for Rwandan refugees to obtain identification documents needed to finally gain access to medical care and schooling.
The story won four awards, including Gold and Audience Honors in the Human Rights category and was a Winner and Audience honoree in the Immigration and Refugees category.
“I am thrilled for this win recognising our team’s outstanding work and for the impact the video has had on the lives of thousands of refugees in Cameroon,” said Kheira Tami, head of AJ+ francais. “This is what drives us as journalists: holding the powerful accountable and exposing the fate of the most vulnerable so they can hope to one day live in dignity.”
AJ Contrast’s Emmy-nominated interactive website Inaccessible Cities was named a winner in the News & Media category and a Gold and Silver medallist in the Social Justice category and Disability Awareness category, respectively.
Inaccessible Cities brings audiences into the lived experience of three women with disabilities as they struggle to navigate their lives in Lagos, Mumbai and New York.
More than one billion people – about 15 percent of the global population – experience some form of disability. Many live in urban areas.
The web experience was nominated for a 2022 Emmy News and Documentary award and has garnered Gracie, Drum, New York Festivals and One World Media awards.
“We are enormously proud of AJ Contrast’s creativity and tenacity,” said Carlos van Meek, Al Jazeera’s director of innovation and programmes, Digital Division. “Despite myriad challenges, the AJ Contrast team has continued innovating and placing itself at the centre of stories that make a difference.”
Owing to the teams’ collective success, Al Jazeera Digital won an eighth award, Brand of the Year, given annually by judges to the company with the most wins.
The 7th Annual Shorty Impact awards winners and honorees were announced on November 16 in an in-person ceremony at the iconic iHeartRadio Theatre in Burbank, California, with more than 200 attendees from all over the world and some of the most distinguished Real Time Academy members in attendance.