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Al Jazeera America Adapting ‘The Stream’ From Al Jazeera English

Al Jazeera America will launch an American version of “The Stream,” one of the more popular programs on Al Jazeera English. Like its AJE counterpart, the AJAM version of “The Stream” will be anchored by former ABC News correspondent Lisa Fletcher, and will originate from Washington DC. The addition of the program is not a total surprise, as job postings on Al Jazeera’s site indicated that it was looking to expand.

The Stream will generate diverse and robust discussion that challenges both the viewers and guests,” said Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director for international operations for Al Jazeera and the senior executive developing AJAM, in a statement. “Its unique format will set the show apart with issues, guests and discussion that won’t be found anywhere else.”

Like the AJE version of the show, it will rely heavily on social media and audience interaction. A different version of the show will continue on AJE.

The original version of “The Stream” was hosted by Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, who noted that when it first debuted, it was not exactly one of AJE’s signature shows (Shihab-Eldin is now a host at HuffPost Live, as we wrote about here). Of course, an Emmy nomination later, and things changed a bit:

“For the first 6 months Al Jazeera’s The Stream was on the air, there were many naysayers, both inside and outside the company, who called it “amateur hour”, referring to the format, the guests, and hosts (myself included), but ironically, three years later, it is now a signature show, replicated on the American channel, because all along it spoke to what sets Al Jazeera apart in the media landscape,” Shihab-Eldin tells TVNewser. “It gives voice to the voiceless, whether professionals or amateurs.”

“THE STREAM” TO JOIN AL JAZEERA AMERICA’S DAILY PROGRAM LINEUP

NEW YORK – (June 19, 2013) – Al Jazeera America, the new American news channel that will launch later this year, today announced that an American version of the award-winning program, The Stream, will be part of its daily programming lineup.

The Al Jazeera America version of The Stream will be broadcast from Washington, D.C., and be hosted by veteran journalist Lisa Fletcher.

The Stream will be uniquely formatted to allow viewers to interact with Fletcher and her guests during the program via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ Hangouts and Skype. The show’s social media team and second screen technology will enable viewers to engage 24-hours-a-day with new content, comments, user-generated videos and a variety of posts.

“The Stream will generate diverse and robust discussion that challenges both the viewers and guests,” said Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director for international operations for Al Jazeera and the senior executive developing Al Jazeera America. “Its unique format will set the show apart with issues, guests and discussion that won’t be found anywhere else.”

Fletcher, a former ABC News correspondent and investigative reporter, has won the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, multiple Edward R. Murrow Awards and numerous Emmy Awards. She has hosted the Al Jazeera English version of “The Stream” since 2012.

The Stream will rely heavily on a variety of online resources and social media tools to connect with people across the United States and around the world. This includes “Storify,” which allows the aggregation of additional information, links and photos about show topics on the website; “Video Genie,” which enables viewers to leave video questions for the show 24-7; and Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Reddit. It will also host Google+ Hangouts and use Skype rather than satellite feeds for nearly all guest interviews.

Recently named Outstanding Talk Show in the news category by the Gracie Awards, the Al Jazeera English version of The Stream has also received the 2012 Royal Television Society’s award for Most Innovative Programme of the Year and the 2012 Webby’s People’s Choice Award for News and Politics. The Stream also received a 2012 Emmy nomination for New Approach to News and Documentary Programming.

A completely different version of The Stream will continue to be seen on Al Jazeera English.

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