Interactive website about women with disabilities and long-form print series about missing and murdered Indigenous women win for social justice reporting.
Al Jazeera Digital won top jury prizes in the 2022 Online Journalism Awards (OJA), its latest wins in global awards competitions.
AJ Contrast, Al Jazeera Media Network’s virtual reality documentary and innovation studio, and Al Jazeera English Online’s Slow Journalism/Features department won the Single Story and Portfolio (series) groupings to dominate the OJA’s Social Justice Reporting category.
AJ Contrast pulled ahead of fellow finalists The New York Times, ProPublica and Univision with Inaccessible Cities, the interactive site that brings audiences into the lived experience of three women with disabilities as they struggle to navigate their lives in Mumbai, Lagos and New York.
More than one billion people – approximately 15 percent of the global population – experience some form of disability. Many of them live in megacities and urban areas.
Inaccessible Cities has garnered a string of awards in 2021 and 2022, including prizes at the Gracie Awards, Drum Awards, One World Media Awards and New York Festivals – and is a 2022 Emmy News and Documentary nominee.
The Slow Journalism/Features unit for Al Jazeera English Online also won the Social Justice Portfolio category for its in-depth long reads about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
The series, embedded with rich graphics, photography and video testimonials, follows family members attempting to find the remains of loved ones who disappeared along “Canada’s Highway of Tears.”
Since the early 1970s, some 80 women and girls, most of them Indigenous, have been killed or gone missing on the infamous, snow-swept stretch of highway in British Columbia.
The series also won the top prize for Digital Feature Reporting at this year’s Edward R Murrow Awards.
“We are very proud of our hardworking AJ Contrast and Slow Journalism teams,” said Carlos van Meek, Al Jazeera’s director of Digital Innovation and Programming. “Their reporting sets a high standard for quality journalism that’s as relevant as it is empathic and deeply moving. We congratulate them.”
The OJA is sponsored by parent organization the Online News Association (ONA). The winner announcements were made live in Los Angeles and via Twitter during the ONA’s annual conference on September 22.