Why I love @AJStream – Al Jazeera’s the Stream shows how to build dialogue through an online audience

I’ve got to admit. There’s no other mainstream show quite like it. For those of you who haven’t experienced Al Jazeera’s the Stream, what are you waiting for?

In brief, Al Jazeera describes the Stream as a web community and daily television show powered by social media and citizen journalism. What this means in practice is that viewers take part in the show in real time, through tweeting with the hashtag #AJStream or talking with the @AJStream twitter profile. Viewers can also record their thoughts, which are often broadcast live on the show or are promoted via the Stream’s website or on its Facebook and Youtube pages. The program doesn’t stop after thirty minutes; the Stream continues broadcasting via the web for viewers to follow the topics under discussion.

Have a look for yourself at one of the Stream’s most powerful programs, on Bahrain’s social media confrontations. And ask yourself, why aren’t more broadcasters engaging their viewers this way? For me, this is the future of media. That’s why I love the Stream.