Al-Jazeera slashes 500 non-editorial jobs, but worldwide network intact

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Al-Jazeera announced on Mach 27 it was cutting 500 positions, most of them at its Doha headquarters.

The Qatari state-funded broadcaster has slashed more than 20 percent of its global workforce this year. Earlier this year, Al-Jazeera cut 700 jobs when it closed Al-Jazeera America. The network said Al-Jazeera English would remain intact.

Al-Jazeera headquarters in Doha.
Al-Jazeera headquarters in Doha.

Khaled Hroub, professor of Middle East politics and Arab media at Northwestern University in Qatar, said the decision is Qatari officials’ attempt “to deliver a bold message to everyone, including their own citizens, that a current policy of huge cuts and vigilant spending is very serious, due to the continuing decline in oil prices.

“Applying these cuts even to Al-Jazeera, one of the most cherished institutions in the country, sends a warning that nobody and no institution could be spared.”

Al-Jazeera acting Director General Mostefa Souag said the job cuts would allow the network “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.”

The job cuts are expected to begin to take effect within the next week, and most would be in non-editorial positions.

Al-Jazeera Arabic is watched by 27 million viewers daily while its online channel “AJ+” has received some 1.2 billion views since launching last September.