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“The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh”

Excellence in National/International Video Storytelling

Fault Lines | Al Jazeera English, 2023


In its Fault Lines documentary, Al Jazeera English reporters challenged the official version of how a prominent Palestinian-American journalist was killed by an Israeli military sniper’s bullet while covering a story in the West Bank in May 2022.  

Al Jazeera reporters raised the likelihood that their colleague, Shireen Abu Akleh, was intentionally targeted by an Israeli military gunman, along with other journalists who were on assignment with her that day in the city of Jenin. The reporting relied on eyewitness interviews, video footage from the day of the incident and credible forensic analysis. 

The official version was that Abu Akleh had been caught in a crossfire between an Israeli patrol and Palestinian insurgents, a claim that is contradicted in the documentary by eyewitnesses and video that proves otherwise.  

A digital reconstruction of the event, created in collaboration with research agency Forensic Architecture and Palestinian human rights group Al Haq, provides further evidence that the Israeli military patrol could clearly see that Abu Akleh and the others were wearing blue vests and helmets that identified them as “PRESS.” Given that Abu Akleh was a U.S. citizen, the Al Jazeera team also pressed U.S. officials for an explanation of why they accepted the Israeli military’s version of events.  

“The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh” is an excellent example of powerful journalistic storytelling that sets the record straight and holds the powerful accountable.