During the Arab Spring, citizen journalism became a major source of press for the people. In January 2011, protests in Egypt erupted and with limited media outlets many activists turned to social media to share updates. Al Jazeera, one of the largest media outlets in the MENA region consulted with Vardot to develop a portal for the large amount of citizen journalism called Al Jazeera Sharek.
At the height of the conflict, the Vardot team built a portal within 48 days to facilitate the urgent demand of content during a critical time in history. As the Arab Spring continued, Vardot advanced the platform to Drupal 7 to support multi-channel content with an optimized user experience. The incorporation of new design enhanced usability and provided Al Jazeera with the power to moderate and control the workflow of uploaded content. The fully built Al Jazeera Sharek Arabic site is compatible with API’s for mobile and email uploads. With a constant need for citizen journalism in the region the site is proactively maintained and hosted through Acquia Cloud. The Al Jazeera Sharek site continues to serve the citizens of the MENA region as source for an activist form of news-gathering and reporting that functions to provide the world with a different perspective.