The Qatar-based news broadcaster Al-Jazeera says it is slashing around 500 jobs as part of a worldwide workforce reduction.

The network announced the cuts Sunday, saying they are part of a "workforce optimization initiative" linked to changes in the media landscape. It says most of the cuts will be in its home base of Qatar.

Acting Director General Mostefa Souag says the cuts will allow the Al-Jazeera Media Network to evolve, in order to "maintain a leading position and continue our recognized commitment to high quality, independent and hard-hitting journalism around the world."

Al-Jazeera was launched as an Arabic-language news channel in 1996 with backing from Qatar's then-emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. It has grown to include multiple channels and today boasts more than 70 bureaus worldwide.