Head of social media: Al Jazeera

Riyaad Minty

As a boy, Riyaad Minty was enthralled by his uncle, Ameen Akhalwaya, and his tales of “struggles against apartheid using media as his weapon”. Today Minty fights a strikingly similar battle, but in a globalised, digitised age. Minty quit his BCom at Wits University in 2002 to start a mobile technology business.

Several years of courting media giant Al Jazeera for business failed but Minty must have impressed as they brought him on board at their Qatar head office in 2006 as head of social media. Minty’s accolades there include a 2008 nomination for an international digital Emmy for his team’s coverage of the US presidential campaign and the moulding Al Jazeera English into the world’s most retweeted news organisation. Now a respected global pundit on all things digital media, 28-year-old Minty remains impassioned by the goal that changed his path 10 years ago: “Giving a voice to the voiceless”.

— Ian Macleod

Blog: riyaadm.com