A young Khoja woman wins the Best Online Producer Award for her reputed work at Al Jazeera Digital


A young Khoja woman has won the Best Online Producer award at the 46th Annual Gracie Awards for excellence in work produced by, for and about women.

Zahra Rasool: Head of AJ Contrast

Zahra Rasool, the Head of AJ Contrast, Al Jazeera Digital has won the award for the Best Online Producer for Still Here, the multiple award-winning immersive experience that uses virtual and augmented reality to explore the impact of imprisonment and gentrification on Black women in the US.

Zahra is a Skilled Innovation Strategist and a Content Producer and is proficient in video production, virtual reality (VR), storytelling, social media and emerging technologies. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Journalism and a Master’s degree in Journalism, specialising in Documentary Production from the University of Missouri- Columbia. She has been holding the position of Head and Editorial Lead of AJ Contrast since 2017.

In 2018, the Khoja News had the opportunity to interview Zahra after her keynote speech on Authenticity and Diversity in storytelling at the Alternate Realities Summit 2018. She had mentioned to us that, “Currently, I’m working as the head of contrast which is Al-Jazeera’s in-house innovations. Our mandate is to look at new and emerging tech and how we can use that to find new ways for storytelling. As for my future aspiration, I would love to be able to continue to create more innovative storytelling ways which enable me to push the boundaries of what immersive, what emerging tech and powerful storytelling combined can achieve.” To read the full interview, please click here.

Zahra has also been a recipient of the Education Loan provided by The World Federation, and we are delighted to see her following her aspirations and making a difference.

Still Here: Immersive Multimedia Project

Still Here is an immersive multimedia project that follows the story of Jasmine Smith, a fictional character who returns home to Harlem, New York City, after being locked up for 15 years. It premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival as an installation and comprises three components – interactive VR, audio with AR and a photo gallery.

About the 46th Annual Gracie Awards

The Gracie Awards are hosted by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF), and the 46th edition of the awards cited a year marked by exemplary work by women who spearheaded media progress and those who are setting the path for the future.

The Gracie Awards Gala will take place virtually on 27th September at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles and will honour women in TV, radio, and digital media.