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Al Jazeera and Quicklink: Providing News to the World

Al Jazeera Media Network is an international news network with over seventy bureaus around the world that spans six different continents. It has continued to grow in reach from using Quicklink technology, which has helped its popularity due to its global coverage, especially from underreported regions. Josh Mainka, Acting Head of Field Operations for Al Jazeera English Channel speaks to Andrew Hoyal about their use of Quicklink.

What were your key requirements for purchasing a broadcast solutions product?

“When Aljazeera English launched in 2006 we were looking to couple advances in laptop newsgathering technology with content delivery over IP networks.

Why did you decide to go for Quicklink?

“Quicklink file compression, coupled with its robust live software enabled us to broadcast from remote regions previously outside the news cycle. We initially used both the Windows Live and Windows Store & Forward version of the Quicklink software and then the Mac OSX version developed in response to our requirements.”

Can you describe a recent event where you have used Quicklink?

“Quicklink has become the main method of field and bureau content delivery for Aljazeera English, utilised on every major news event, since we launched in 2006.

Quicklink has opened up the unreported world for Aljazeera’s viewers, ensuring that we fulfill our mandate of being the voice of the voiceless; no matter the location. In recent weeks Quicklink has enabled Aljazeera to broadcast from locations as diverse as the tragic mudslide in remote Afghanistan, first on scene at the location of the schoolgirl kidnapping by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria and in the foothills of the Himalayas, where 13 Sherpas died after an avalanche on Everest.”

For more about the Quicklink setup and initiative used in the front line, read the following article from Satellite Pro Me

Aljazeera English were the first media organization to utilize the BGAN X-Stream service in 2009.

“Our field acquisition consists of a combination of MacBook Pro-based laptop newsgathering (solutions) coupled with traditional satellite newsgathering. Our camera crews are equipped with Hughes HNS 9201 BGAN units which they used for Live and Store and Forward transmissions from the field with the help of Quicklink software. Al Jazeera English was the first broadcaster to use BGAN X-Stream 384Kbps connections in the field for live transmissions with Quicklink in 2009,”

Read more about the BGAN X Stream Here

What do you hope to achieve for the future using Quicklink?

“Quicklink, coupled with Inmarsat’s recent HDR launch and future Global Xpress (GX) service will speed our remote newsgathering and continue to enhance the quality of our broadcasts.”