May 21, 2019

Exclusive: Al Jazeera is launching a business site

Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

Al Jazeera is planning to launch a cross-platform business vertical called AJ Impact, executives tell Axios. It will feature original reporting from Al Jazeera journalists worldwide, as well as curated business content from Bloomberg.

Why it matters: To date, Al Jazeera has mostly focused on hard news topics, like politics, breaking news and current events. AJ Impact, which will focus on topics like personal finance, economic inequality, and impact investing, represents a significant departure from its traditional areas of focus.

Details: AJ Impact will have a standalone site, but it will also live across digital video, podcasts, social media and television.

  • The site will feature international business coverage and will be helmed by a team based in new offices in New York dedicated to AJ Impact, with bureaus in Kuala Lumpur, London and Doha.
  • The site will be led by Patricia Sabga, who currently serves as managing business editor at Al Jazeera Digital.
  • Sabga says the company has pulled together a team of 10 full-time staffers to launch the site, and that 20 are expected to be a part of this effort by the end of the year.
  • "The global economy is not just made up of high net worth individuals," Sabga says. "Everyone can have a voice in it."

Between the lines: The decision to launch the vertical was an editorial one, says Michael Weaver, senior VP of business development and growth at Al Jazeera, although there are obvious business benefits. "There's a white space we see in business coverage today," Weaver says. "A lot of our audience around the world feels like business coverage talks past them."

  • Al Jazeera is mostly funded by the Qatari government, but the company has begun to scale commercialization, mostly via advertising over the past year and a half.
  • Weaver says that part of the company's strategy in launching the vertical is to "enter the world of commercialization [advertising] so that the company can monetize its news independently."
  • "Softer content can be easier to monetize for us on platforms like Facebook and Google, and it's another portal for our audiences to grow. "

The big picture: It's part of a growing trend of news companies that are expanding their business and technology verticals in order to prepare for news demand after the world of Trump-dominated news headlines eventually dies down.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 664,695 — Total deaths: 30,847 — Total recoveries: 140,156.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 124,464 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by late Saturday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Trump rules out quarantine in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut after pushback

President Trump on the White House grounds on Saturdya. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Saturday night that he's decided not to introduce quarantine enforcement measures fo New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut, but a "strong" travel advisory will be issued for those states. The CDC later announced domestic travel restrictions for the states.

Why it matters: Trump said hours earlier he was considering quarantine measures to combat the rise in novel coronavirus cases. But he received pushback, notably from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who told CNN such a measure would cause "chaos." "This would be a federal declaration of war on states," Cuomo added.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health