What do you do if you’re a journalist faced with unemployment? If you’re the digital staff at Al Jazeera America, you start a website.
On Monday, more than two weeks since Al Jazeera America announced that it will shut down in April, the site’s staffers unveiled bestofajam.com, a sleek site featuring the profiles of more than 50 soon-to-be-out-of-work digital journalists at the company.
The site showcases the biographies and work of AJAM’s staff, many of whom have already started the job hunt.
“We’ve produced thousands of compelling stories,” reads the message on the site’s homepage. “With the company set to close, check out some of our best work as we look to new opportunities.”
Al Jazeera America employees learned last month that the troubled news outlet will be shuttered on April 30, an announcement that left many on the staff stunned. As many as 700 staff members could lose their jobs.
Al Jazeera America’s digital staff, which had successfully formed a union in the fall, began work on the website immediately after the shutdown was announced.
The site was spearheaded by developer Joanna Kao and reporter Azure Gilman. Kao built the site, while Gilman gathered information from her colleagues. All but a few staff members provided information to be included on the site.
Dozens of journalists promoted the effort following its launch on Monday morning, urging prospective employers to consider the digital journalists who may soon be looking for work.
A spokeswoman for Al Jazeera America did not immediately respond to a request for comment.