Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera says it received 18,000 job applications for 170 positions at its soon-to-be launched US network, Al Jazeera America.
Around 700 editorial and technical staff will be working for Al Jazeera America when it launches in July, said Bob Wheelock, executive producer for the Americas at Al Jazeera English, speaking to news site The Daily Beast.
He said that the network was seeking to employ one or two well-established names in journalism in the run-up to the launch.
“It would be very helpful for us to have a couple of names that have been recognized and people say, ‘Oh, they have gone over to them. I should give it a look'," Wheelock said. “Americans like to know who is on at what time. We need to find people who are known, but we want them to be known for their journalism, not for their celebrity, not for their past failure, not for their messy divorce.”
Al Jazeera America will have nearly a dozen domestic bureaus with its headquarter in New York and will rely on content from more than 70 overseas bureaus.
The cable network was founded through the acquisition of Al Gore’s Current TV for US$500m. The deal gives Al Jazeera access to Current TV's existing cable deals and distribution network, adding 40m people to its audience of 220m households.