AJ Labs, Al Jazeera Digital

Entry type: Portfolio

Country/area: Qatar

Publishing organisation: Al Jazeera Digital

Organisation size: Big

Cover letter:

Al Jazeera’s AJ Labs data journalism unit is a small yet diverse team of editors, journalists, designers and developers comprising five members – each wearing many hats.

The team produces human-centric data and visual stories across Al Jazeera’s digital platforms in English, Arabic and Bosnian.

AJ Labs was established in 2011 during the height of the Arab Spring. Over the years, the team has produced some of the network’s most innovative projects, including Palestine Remix, 360 degree tours, AI-powered gamification stories, data visualisations and a large collection of longforms and infographic stories.

Our team works across four time zones and over the past year have covered daily data/visual stories as well as in-depth projects predominantly covering the global south.

Our goal is to grow data journalism across the Arab World and use data to tell stories from areas that are often underreported. As part of Al Jazerea, our motto is to be a voice for the voiceless and to encourage a pioneering spirit.

Description of portfolio:

Over the past 12 months, the 5-member AJLabs team produced more than 100 infographic stories, longforms, interactives and data analysis stories explaining topics including:

– The human toll of the Russia-Ukraine war
– Visualising the fastest refugee crises
– Mapping the scale of destruction of the Pakistan floods
– Rohingya exodus explained in maps and charts
– The names and faces of children killed in Gaza
– Infographic: How many children are forced to work globally?
– Infographic: The impact of nuclear tests around the world
– Mapping the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world
– World Ocean Day: A look at 8 critically endangered marine species
– Infographic: How expensive are everyday items in Nigeria?
– Visualising the Quran
– Infographic: Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and political turmoil
– Infographic: Which countries have the safest drinking water?
– Infographic: Yemen’s war explained in maps and charts
– Infographic: Hunger and food insecurity in maps and charts

For the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar the team produced an AI prediction game (English and Arabic) using Google Cloud’s Vertex AI engine. The game generated huge interest across all platforms and managed a very competitive 67% accuracy level. We hope to build upon this positive experience using AI in the newsroom in 2023.

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