‘Digital approach has transformed storytelling’
November 07 2016 11:37 PM
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Dima Khatib during the session at NU-Q.

With the growing impact of AJ+, there is more power to tell stories to the rest of the world about this region, from this region, stated AJ+ managing director Dima Khatib.
She was speaking at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), discussing her career and how the digital approach used by AJ+ has “revolutionised storytelling”. AJ+a digital “news and beyond” platform based in San Francisco and Doha.
The session at NU-Q was moderated by Mary Dedinsky, director of the NU-Q journalism programme, and attracted a roomful of
students.
As managing director of AJ+, which was launched in September 2014, Dima oversees “one of the largest and fastest-growing news outlets in English, Arabic and Spanish”. During the past two years, it has grown its audience to more than 7mn fans on Facebook and more than 230,000 subscribers on YouTube, according to a press statement.
“Dima is a bold and passionate journalist and her experience - starting as translator and now as manager of the fastest-growing digital news outlet - is an inspiration to our students. Her role with AJ+ is also an example for our students on how news content is shifting to online platforms, which allows for a broader platform to tell their stories to the world,” said Everette E Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q.
“Although we are shifting towards a digital approach to share news, the basics of reporting and journalism are still the same. Staying true to your ethics, asking the right questions and reporting fairly are still the core of good journalism,” said Khatib.
Dedinsky asked Khatib about the important role AJ+ plays in telling the Middle East’s stories to the world.
“AJ+ takes people’s personal stories,” she said, “as well as major conflicts and war, then simplifies them into short, 50-second videos that inform people about ongoing issues. We also try to focus on positive stories and stories with human interest angles that people would like to watch, share or react to.”



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