Wednesday, 19 January 2011


I attended yesterday the picket line set outside Broadcasting House in London by NUJ members working at the BBC Arabic service. The majority of the 170 NUJ members are out on a 48-hour strike, to dispute new work rotas being imposed. This may be one of many actions that will be taken by journalists to resist the new wave of cuts planned by the BBC.

Last week, BBC boss, Mark Thompson, announced he will be seeking cuts of 20% over four years, more than the required 16% resulting from the new funding deal agreed with the government which will see the corporation's income cut by16% in real terms by 2017. NUJ members across the BBC are bracing themselves for hundreds of job cuts.

Already 72 job losses were announced at BBC Monitoring, the division responsible for supplying information on the output of TV, press and internet outlets around the world. More will follow at the World Service which will see its newsgathering teams merge with the BBC's domestic news operation.

The strike has been solid and achieved a near-black out of TV and radio programmes. Throughout the day, output has been seriously disrupted and live programmes replaced with pre-records.

1 comment:

  1. Unlike the wider BBC, where some top managers were made to fall on their swords in an effort to demonstrate that cuts are being imposed evenly up and down the ranks, the managers at BBC Monitoring decided that their collective talents were too valuable for the soon-to-be emasculated service to continue without them.

    Although this week's cuts mean the loss of dozens of editorial posts in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Europe/Latin American teams, staff at Band 10 and above i.e. the senior managers at Monitoring, on salaries north of £60-70K, all get to keep their jobs. Trebles and bonuses all round!