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Al Jazeera unveils new portal for citizen reporters

Al Jazeera has announced that its multi-lingual citizen media sharing service called Sharek is to go live in the third quarter of 2012.

According to Al Jazeera’s Head of New Media Moeed Ahmad, more than 70,000 videos have been uploaded to date to its existing portals Your Media (English) and Sharek (Arabic). The new service will combine these two portals on a live release basis.

“Footage from people on the street has been critical to our reporting in the region over the last year and a half,” Ahmad, told delegates to UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Conference in Tunis on Thursday (4 May).

“We’ve received an enormous 70,000 videos from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and many other countries. At critical times we were receiving a clip every second. We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has sent in video – they have helped inform us and our viewers around the world,” he added.

The new portal Sharek (Arabic for ‘share’) will operate an accreditation system, to distinguish reliable and regular content contributors. Once users reach a ‘trust score threshold’, their videos will be available to view before moderation, says the broadcaster.

“Al Jazeera is committed to fostering a culture of citizen reporting in communities across the region and worldwide. That is why visitors to Sharek are able to watch footage that doesn’t necessarily make it onto our screens. It’s also why we’re training would-be journalists from communities in the Middle East and Africa,” said Ahmad.

The broadcaster is seeking user feedback, inviting people to look at the current portal at and to send comments to