Al Jazeera’s US operation is gearing up for launch later this year. Top of its list is hiring around 700 staff, and opening or strengthening a dozen news bureaux around the USA, as well as boosting coverage and input from its existing international news bureaux to feed into the new English-language service.
The number of staff is considerably more than first mooted when a number of 300 was mentioned as being needed.
The new channel is occupying the space previously owned by Current TV, which it bought in a $500 million deal in January.
Al Jazeera America has set itself a tough production agenda insofar that it says it will produce 60 per cent of the new channels output from the USA, with the balance coming from Al Jazeera English (its English-language ‘international’ channel).