EFJ Calls on BBC Management to Stop ‘Self-Destruction’ with New Wave of Redundancies

 

The European

Federation of Journalists (EFJ) the European group of the International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the BBC management to

reconsider the massive job cuts announced yesterday.

 

“The BBC is

an international cornerstone of public service broadcasting and we cannot

understand why the management is organising its own decline,” said EFJ

President Arne König. “It looks to us the BBC is self-destructing and we urge management

to reconsider its plans.”

 

Yesterday the

BBC management announced 2000 job cuts across the BBC, which represents a 20%

staff cuts over 5 years – this is in addition to the 7000 jobs already lost at

the BBC since 2004. It was presented as a “direct result” of the licence fee

settlement agreed behind closed doors last autumn between the Coalition Government

and BBC management. The deal froze the licence fee until 2017 and introduced

new funding responsibilities for the BBC.

 

The planned cuts

concern business coverage, investigative journalism, regional current affairs

programmes, the Asian Network and foreign news. Between 700-800 jobs will be

lost in BBC News. Hundreds of jobs are also at risk in BBC Scotland and Wales.

 

The working conditions

of staff have also been severely hit – plans include cuts to staff allowances,

redundancy terms and re-grading and moves towards statutory redundancy

consultation periods and performance related pay. New staff will also be

expected to work for substantially lower salaries with worse terms and

conditions at work. This will create a two-tier workforce at the BBC, warns the

EFJ.

 

Michelle

Stanistreet, the general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ)

of Great Britain said: “We are stunned that BBC news, BBC radio and

quality journalism have received a disproportionate hit today. The cuts risk

irreparable damage to the BBC and will inevitably compromise quality journalism

and programming.”

 

The EFJ

supports the NUJ and its members at the BBC. “Many journalists consider the BBC

as a standard-setting media. If these standards are threatened it would have

dramatic consequences for journalism as a public good in Europe,” added the

EFJ.

 

The EFJ

represents more than 260.000 members in over 30 countries for more information,

please contact the EFJ on + 32 2 235 22 00