Al Jazeera America, which bought out Al Gore's Current TV in January, officially launches in July and it's seeing a rush of applications.
Ehab Alshihabi, executive director of international operations, told Columbia Journalism Review that the Qatar-based network's initial 170 job openings have seen nearly 20,000 applicants.
"Our hiring process began immediately after the sale of Current TV on January 2, when we placed recruitment ads in a broad cross-section of domestic and internal industry trade publications and websites," Alshihabi said. "To date, we have received over 18,000 resumes for an initial 170 open positions, and we are currently reviewing those resumes and vetting candidates that best fit those roles. We expect to have the bureau talent and production teams in place by May 1 to be ready for launch, but there is no end date for the process as we will continue to add personnel as Al Jazeera America grows and expands over time."
He also said past negative perceptions of Al Jazeera have changed, leading to the wave of applicants from Americans...
"More and more people are watching us and recognizing that we are putting people first — their lives and stories are at the heart of what we do," Alshihabi said. "We are a voice for the voiceless, promoting the basic human right of the freedom of expression for people everywhere."