Al-Jazeera to layoff around 500 jobs

Dated: March 28, 2016

In order to refocus on digital content, Qatar’s state funded broadcaster Al Jazeera Network Media has fired around 500 employees mostly from its Qatar headquarters. Launched as an Arabic-language news channel in 1996, Al-Jazeera has grown to include multiple channels and today boasts more than 70 bureaus worldwide.

“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 underway in the global media landscape,” said Mostefa Souag, the acting director general of the Network.

Al Jazeera also has faced increasing competition in its home region, and suspicion among many governments over the air time it gave to Islamist groups in Syria, Libya and elsewhere.

In January, Al Jazeera said it would close its US cable news outlet less than three years after its high-profile launch. It cited economic challenges in the US media market.

“Based on this review, we have embarked on a work force optimization initiative that will allow us to evolve our business operation in order to maintain a leading position and continue our recognized commitment to high-quality, independent and hard-hitting journalism around the world,” Mostefa Souag, the acting director general of the network, said.

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