Al Jazeera To Cut 500 Staff Worldwide

Al Jazeera To Cut 500 Staff Worldwide

Media company Al Jazeera is reducing its staff numbers by 500 globally as part of an “optimisation initiative”.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

The company cited the transforming media landscape as reasons behind the initiative.

In a blog post, Al Jazeera said it expects 500 jobs to be affected by the reductions, most of them in Qatar.

Similarly, The Guardian and Fairfax Media have also had dramatic job cuts to keep up with the changing field.

Mostefa Souag, acting director general of the Al Jazerra network, said: “Over the past few months, we have carefully evaluated every option available to the Network in order to ensure that we are best positioned in light of the large-scale changes under way in the global media landscape.

“Based on this review, we have embarked on a workforce optimisation initiative that will allow us to evolve our business operation in order to maintain a leading position and continue our recognised commitment to high-quality, independent and hard-hitting journalism around the world.

“While our decision is consistent with those being made across the media industry worldwide, it was difficult to make nonetheless. However, we are confident it is the right step to ensure the Network’s long-term competitiveness and reach.”

The company also recently announced its intention to close its cable channel in the States, Al Jazeera America, after viewers slipped.

At the time, CEO Al Anstey said the closure was a “massive disappointment”.

“I know the closure of AJAM will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future,” he said in a company memo.

“Our commitment to great journalism is unrivaled. We have increasingly set ourselves apart from all the rest. And you are the most talented team any organisation could wish for.”

Al Jazeera first launched in 1996 as an independent voice in Arab nations. Since then, it has grown across a number of countries, and was recently in the media spotlight after three of its journalists were detained in Egypt.

Lead image via Al Jazeera.