Al Jazeera America draws thousands of job applications

Although Al Jazeera’s recruiters used to incite little interest from prospective job candidates, their impending U.S. launch has prompted 18,000 people to apply for 170 openings in the new bureau, according to the Columbia Journalism Review.

Ehab Alshihabi, executive director of international operations for Al Jazeera, told CJR that he advises candidates to pay close attention to how their qualifications adhere to the job they want. “We want people who have watched our content and are familiar with the product, the company, and the Al Jazeera brand of journalism.” The candidates, he said, have no commonality of age, ethnicity or journalism credentials, but they’re unified by their levels of experience, enthusiasm and passion for Al Jazeera’s type of content.

Alshihabi said that American journalists started to notice Al Jazeera during their coverage of the Arab Spring. He said they’ll have preliminary hires set by May 1 to prepare for their American launch, and they’ll continue to hire on a rolling basis. They’ll hire radio, print, online and TV journalists.