The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European
group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today accused the British
Government of "reckless disregard" for people's right to quality information
following the announcement that the BBC, the world's leading public broadcaster,
is to suffer punitive cuts in its budget.
A potential casualty is output from the BBC World Service which is
renowned internationally for high quality journalism that has inspired
campaigns for more press freedom in some of the world's most troubled regions
where political rights are routinely denied.
"The sudden imposition of drastic cuts at the BBC threatens not only
jobs and quality journalism," said Aidan White, IFJ/EFJ General Secretary. "It
also shows reckless disregard for the global campaign for people's right to
knowledge and political freedom."
The cuts at the BBC which amount to around 340 million pounds over the
next four years were imposed at the last minute as the government put the
finishing touches to a comprehensive round of spending cuts across the national
The government has told the BBC to shoulder its World Service which has
hitherto been paid for by the money allocated to the Foreign Ministry. It has
also had its licence fee frozen for six
"These cuts will damage an institution which provides a unique service
at home and is an inspiration for millions abroad," said White.
The IFJ and EFJ last week signed up to a new global campaign launched in
Geneva by trade unions leaders around the world to defend quality public services.
"This action against the BBC illustrates how vulnerable public
broadcasters are when governments show a lack of respect for the public interest
value of journalism and information in building democratic, tolerant and
informed societies," added White.
For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 07
The IFJ represents more than
600.000 members in 125 countries