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AJ Contrast wins One World Media Award – Al Jazeera English



Al Jazeera Digital’s innovation studio site highlights challenges women with disabilities face in navigating megacities.

Al Jazeera’s immersive storytelling and media innovation studio, AJ Contrast, has won a top prize at the One World Media Awards in London.

One World jurors conferred the win in the Digital Media category for AJ Contrast’s interactive site, Inaccessible Cities.

The project brings audiences into the experiences of three women with disabilities as they struggle to navigate their cities – Mumbai, Lagos and New York.

Winners were announced across 15 categories during a ceremony in London on June 16.

The One World Media Awards recognise excellence in unreported stories from the Global South that “break stereotypes, change the narrative and connect people across cultures”.

Inaccessible Cities added the award to numerous other wins so far this year in the Drum Online, Gracie, New York Festivals and Telly Awards.

More than one billion people – 15 percent of the global population – experience some form of disability. Many live in urban areas.

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The Inaccessible Cities site begins with a simple question: “How would you get around a megacity if you couldn’t walk, see signs or hear cars passing by?”

“It’s a great honour to be recognised by the One World Media Awards,” said Zahra Rasool, head of AJ Contrast.

“Our aim has always been to highlight unreported stories about the people most impacted by inequality, often in the Global South.

“With Inaccessible Cities, we wanted to show how a lack of accessible public transport and infrastructure impacts people with disabilities – especially women – from fully and independently participating in society.

“Our aim is to continue inspiring a new standard for digital news content that’s fully inclusive of people with disabilities and to bring awareness to their challenges.”

In keeping with AJ Contrast’s emphasis on collaboration, the team worked closely with journalists with disabilities, local talent and the women who are the subject of the interactive experience.

“We are very proud of our AJ Contrast team,” said Carlos van Meek, Al Jazeera’s director of Digital Innovation and Programming. “Despite the production challenges brought on by COVID-19, this driven, talented team has continued to innovate and set the benchmark for immersive storytelling.”

Other Al Jazeera Digital teams made the One World long list, including the AJLabs series Visualising the Afghan War and two films by short documentary unit AJ Close Up – Russia’s Banned Youth and Norway’s Afghan Sons.

The Al Jazeera English broadcast channel also was long listed in the News category for the 101 East documentary India’s COVID Warriors. Jurors evaluated a record number of entries from 96 countries.

The complete list of One World winners can be found in the One World Media winners’ gallery.

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10 Year Old Actor Sebastian Singh Makes His Toronto International Film Festival Debut in Clement Virgo Film “BROTHER”



10 Year Old Actor Sebastian Singh Makes His Toronto International Film Festival Debut in Clement Virgo Film

Toronto, ON – Sebastian Singh will appear in his first feature film at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. (TIFF) The ten-year-old actor will play the younger version of the Lamar Johnson’s lead character Michael in Clement Virgo’s “Brother.”   “Brother” makes its world premiere at TIFF in September. The film is the story of Francis and Michael, sons of Caribbean immigrants maturing into young men amidst Toronto’s pulsing 1990’s hip-hop scene and the mystery that unfolds setting off a series of events which changes the course of the brothers’ lives forever.  Sebastian is excited and honoured to be a part of this film and to attend TIFF.

Sebastian Singh is a talented ten-year-old with a bright future ahead of him and an already established work ethic.
The multi-talented young actor has established himself as a new up and coming talent to watch for in the Film and TV industry in Canada. Sebastian was a part of the award-winning PSA Sick kids Mom vs Hard days, has appeared in the popular television series, Suits, Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale and Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story, for Lifetime.  Sebastian is also an award-winning filmmaker for the short film H.E.N.R.I, which he co-wrote, produced, and played the lead with his twin sister Ava and father, Ryan Singh.
Everyone agrees, Sebastian Singh’s star is on the rise and can’t wait for what’s next.
**Sebastian is represented by Annie Oakes of Glickman
Alexander Talent Management
Media Inquiries:


Sasha Stoltz Publicity: 

Sasha Stoltz | | 416.579.4804 

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Hardliners In Iran Slam Media At Home And Abroad For Criticism – ایران اینترنشنال



IRGC media accuse ‘reformist’ media in Iran of being in “unison” with their foreign-based peers, criticizing the government for forced hijab and nuclear policy.

In a commentary Tuesday, the IRGC-linked Fars news agency attacked reformist media for printing articles and commentaries that it said were “in unison with hostile media”.

Iranian officials and hardliners refer to Persian language media based outside Iran such as the BBC’s Persian channel, Iran International TV, Voice of America (VOA), and Manoto TV as ‘hostile media’.

Fars specified criticism of the government’s nuclear policies and crackdown on women for not abiding by hijab rules. Critics say that confronting, harassing and arresting women on the streets is similar to the way the Taliban in Afghanistan act. Fars said that the media’s coverage of this criticism shows their shared goals.

One of the newspapers attacked by Fars in its commentary was Etemad, which in a recent article headlined “Radical Principlists Fear [Nuclear] Agreement” said ultra-hardliners are pressuring the government to forego the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.

The commentary then cited an analysis by the website of Voice of America which argued that failing to reach an agreement with world powers to restore the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) within a few weeks would entail military and economic risks for Iran.

Loss of trust in the state media’s impartiality in reporting among many Iranians has led to the ever increasing popularity of foreign-based Persian language television channels at the expense of the state broadcaster (IRIB) despite its huge budget and massive organization employing more than 40,000 people.

A poll conducted by Gamaan polling agency in the Netherlands in 2021 found Iran International TV and Manoto TV, both based in London, as the most popular media outlets in Iran.

Iran has one of the world’s worst media and internet censorships, with tens of thousands of websites blocked since the early 2000s and most social media platforms banned. In the absence of free media and the very high level of censorship, many Iranians turn to social media for political news and information.

Some 60 percent of those contacted by Gamaan said they never watch the news on the Iranian state-run television, the agency said, adding that generalization of the results of the survey to the general public are valid by a 95% coefficient.

Those taking part in the survey were literate Iranians over 19 years of age, representative of 85 percent of the adult population in Iran.

According to the findings of the survey, 33% respondents in the poll said they watch the Iran International TV daily. This makes the network the most popular Persian speaking foreign based news channel in Iran.

Next on the popularity ladder were Manoto TV with 30%, BBC Persian TV with 17%, both London-Based, as well as Jam TV, based in Turkey, with 16.5%, followed by the Iranian state TV at 16 percent, the Washington-based VOA TV also known as PNN with 11 percent popularity.

The country’s only broadcasting organization which operates under the supervision of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s office is now controlled by ultra conservatives. Khamenei also appoints the IRIB’s chief.

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How To Build A Progressive Brand Using Modern Media (Part II) – Forbes



Whether you know what you’re talking about or not, if you’re a guest on TV, everyone will believe you know your stuff. (Psst … you’re less likely to get a guest appearance if you don’t know what you’re talking about!).

Part I of this blog series was all about using different platforms to build your personal brand. Part II here is about leveraging the brand you built online to appear before a larger audience.

Another way to think of this is that using social media (i.e., blogs, podcasts, YouTube, and Facebook/Instagram) serves as a foundation or springboard. That’s not to say that you can’t have an amazing, and lucrative, brand using any one of the platforms listed in Part I, because you can. But depending on what your goals are, you might also want to explore appearances on radio, television, or TEDx stages.

Let’s unpack how this could look for you…

1. TV appearances

Modern TV includes guest appearances on reputable YouTube channels, online networks, and TV talk shows, like Good Morning America and Live with Kelly & Ryan. But guest appearances don’t tend to start with something as large as Good Morning America.

How you use TV will depend a little bit on your brand and what you’re offering. TV is one way – and a good way – to introduce yourself to a lot of people. Plus, you can place the video recording of your segment on your website as a way to show credibility. This is the importance of an “as seen on” website page on your media coverage.

If you’re considering using media as a way to promote your brand, here are five tips to getting on TV.

  • Start with local media. Local media builds credibility and shows that you don’t crack under pressure or spotlight. This would be almost necessary to get accepted into national media outlets.
  • Be newsworthy. Stay true to your brand but find an angle that’s counterintuitive, something that makes someone stop in their tracks and rethink their approaches to life. If you have a successful business, you have an angle. There are reasons people hire (or listen to) you.
  • Pitch like a pro. With TV and radio, it’s not about selling your brand. It’s about entertaining their audience.
  • Be OK waiting. You’re not likely to land your first pitch. Remember: a lack of response isn’t always a “no”— it could simply be a “not right now.” Producers take note of their inbox, even if they are not responsive… Don’t give up. Hire a well-connected PR firm to help.
  • Shine. When you get that call, give it everything you’ve got…in a calm and professional way, of course.

Competition for the spotlight is fierce. You need to stand out from the crowd here more than ever. Here are expert tips to be heard over the noise.

  • Get media training. It’s a lot harder than it looks! You need to learn how to relax on camera to convey your key message. As a career coach, I’m constantly training clients to speak clearly and on message during all public interviews.
  • Be compelling and entertaining. You don’t need to be funny, but you need to have a sense of humor.
  • Prove you’re not a “nutjob.” No one wants to work for someone who’s overzealous. Be enthusiastic, just not too enthusiastic.
  • Include only one “ah ha.” Your message needs to be summarized in one sentence. Think of it like this: When the host wraps up their time with you, what is the one thing you will want to make sure you say?

2. Radio

The value with radio is that it’s audio based. And, in traffic, you have a captivated audience. But an oft overlooked radio-like media is podcasts – not as a host, but as a guest. Podcasts have a huge audience: 32% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly, 75% want to learn something, and 52% of subscribers listen to the entire episode. That’s a captive audience.

To be successful using radio you need to find the right audience for your content. That means listening to different radio broadcasts to see where your message will be well-received. Radio needs to be newsworthy. It’s a great place to talk about your new book or breakthroughs in your industry. Like TV, starting local is the way to go.

On the flip side, if you want to be a podcast guest, your reach is much greater. Here are three tips to get the perfect podcast opp:

  • Research. Identify and listen to several podcasts to determine a good fit for your message. Select about five podcasts that target your audience. Write down the details of each, e.g., who hosts the podcast and how to reach them. Listen to at least 2 to 3 episodes of each podcast so you get a feel for their audience.
  • Pitch. After you’ve listened to several episodes, craft a pitch. Your podcast host wants to know how your appearance will benefit their audience and show… Give them bullet points that are specific, have points that are unexpected, show your value.
  • Follow-up. Always follow up. Your first follow-up should be within 1-2 days, then 7, then 14 days. After that, keep listening. When you hear a podcast about a related topic or something that ties in nicely with your topic, send another follow-up: “Hey, just caught your episode on sleep apnea. As you might remember, I work with a technique to induce sound sleep – I’ve included more info below, but here are the bullet points….”

When you’re using radio or podcast guest appearances, your focus can be slightly different than TV. With TV, you want just one defining “ah ha.” With radio, and especially podcasts, listeners can relisten to episodes online. Often podcast hosts will include links to your personal website or social platforms (whatever is agreed on). So, you can leave the listeners with an “ah ha” moment that requires investigation or a call-to-action.

3. TEDx

TED– which stands for technology, entertainment, design– has a mission to discover “ideas worth spreading.” It was originally a once-a-year conference held in Vancouver. TEDx are grassroot events held locally under the same premise: spreading great ideas. TEDx talks are shared for free online. More than 3000 TEDx events are held annually. There is an opportunity available to be invited to give a TEDx talk.

TED by the numbers: In 2006, TED Talks posted six shows online. Six years later, TED Talks online surpassed one billion views. It is estimated that TED talks receive one million views a day.

There are two TEDs – TED and TEDx. TED is an annual conference by invitation or nomination only. Other opportunities on TED include the Audacious Project, TED Fellow, and TED-Ed. TEDx are local events and offer your best chances at being heard. Here’s how:

  • Study TEDx talks in your local region so you know what makes a great TEDx talk.

  • Get to know the TEDx community and organizers.
  • Build a portfolio of public speaking events with shareable links.
  • Craft your talk – and your pitch – around energy, creativity, and bold ideas.
  • Focus on just one idea or angle.

Just as with TV and radio, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. So do your homework. Your idea doesn’t have to be earth shattering, but it needs to present a different way of looking at the problem. Just like TV, you need one big “ah ha.” But someone different from TV, you want your audience to learn, be inspired, and think. Brené Brown is an excellent example. She talks about vulnerability. Audiences that listen to her leave with as many questions as they do answers. They leave with an exploratory mind. That’s what will set you apart when competing for TEDx.

4. Have a shining LinkedIn profile.

You’ve done the work, emailed the pitches, and now you’re waiting to hear back. Know that in this lag of time, professionals and bookers will be looking at your LinkedIn profile. So make it shine! All professional brands need a LinkedIn page. Some, of course, more than others. LinkedIn is where you network and build relationships so when it comes time for the Big Ask, you have the connections to back you up. Before launching your pursuit to be the star of the show, make your LinkedIn profile pop.

Remember, your brand reflects your commitment to who you are as a professional. It’s not a step you can skip in today’s workplace, whether you’re an entrepreneur, or in corporate. It’s not “too late” to build your brand – if you take to the task in a strategic and committed way. It can be easy to get discouraged when your numbers (followers) are stagnant, or you’re being rejected for guest appearances. That’s when you must dig deeper. Find where you can pivot while staying true to who you are and what you stand for. if you have a “big point,” you’ll get noticed.

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