Al Jazeera America, the new Qatar-based news channel set to launch in the U.S. on Aug. 20, announced Tuesday its massive expansion of new bureaus in 12 major cities and the correspondents who will report from them.
“It is critical for Al Jazeera America to have bureaus strategically placed throughout the U.S. so that we can cover the news from wherever it happens,” said Marcy McGinnis, Al Jazeera America’s senior vice president. “We want our correspondents to report on a wide range of local, state and regional stories within the context of what it means for the rest of the country.”
Ash-har Quraishi, a former correspondent for WTTW, Chicago’s PBS station, will be Al Jazeera America’s Chicago correspondent. Former YNN Austin evening and weekend news anchor Heidi Zhou Castro will be based out of Dallas, Texas. Emmy award-winning Paul Beban, a former producer for Al Jazeera English, will correspond out of Denver. Former WDIV-TV reporter Bisi Onile-Ere will be based in Detroit. Jennifer London, former national correspondent for NBC Network News and MSNBC, will be Al Jazeera America’s Los Angeles correspondent. Natasha Ghoneim, a former reporter for Al Ahram Online in Cairo, will be based out of Miami. Award-winning journalist Jonathan Martin will join Al Jazeera America from Nashville. Robert Ray will serve as correspondent for the New Orleans bureau and KING Channel 5’s news anchor Allen Schauffler will report out of Seattle.
Libby Casey, who most recently was a host and producer for C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” will be Al Jazeera America’s correspondent in Washington, D.C.
The organization did not announce its correspondents for its New York City and San Francisco bureaus.
“With over 22,000 applications already received, Al Jazeera America has been flooded with interest in jobs at the channel,” reported Denise Males, senior vice president for human resources.
The company has had 700 jobs to fill in recent months, and have already attracted high profile reporters from CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, CBS and ABC, including Soledad O’Brien and David Shuster.