IFJ Supports Striking BBC Journalists against "Unethical" Off-shoring Scheme

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today expressed its strong support to striking

journalists at the BBC World Service who are protesting at the Corporation's

plans to outsource its South Asian programmes to companies in India and Pakistan.

The 24-hour strike,

which is part of the on-going campaign "Save the BBC World Service" by South

Asian journalists, is also supported by the National Union of Journalists in England

and Ireland (NUJ)

and the Broadcast Entertainment Cinema and Theatre Union (BETCU) which have

campaigned over the last 15 months against this restructuring programme.

"The IFJ fully supports these journalists who are not only

defending their jobs but the integrity, quality and independence of the

BBC World Service," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "At a time when media

face unprecedented crisis, pushing staff to give up

full time jobs and being offered a choice between unemployment or lower terms

jobs in unstable locations is nothing short of a scandal."

According to

journalists' unions, the BBC management plans to off-shore its Hindu programmes

and half of its Urdu and Nepali output away from London

to production companies based in India

and Pakistan.

The South Asian journalists and their unions fear that the plan would cost 34

editorial jobs in Hindi, Urdu and Nepali sections and lead to the loss of

editorial independence in unstable countries.

"There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the BBC

management's off-shoring plans will put at risk seventy years of first-class

journalism and expose their journalists to political and commercial

pressures beyond their control," added Boumelha. "IFJ

affiliates have added their voices to the protests over the plans and

have given full support to the NUJ's

campaign to defeat the BBC's plans."

For more

information contact the IFJ at +32 2 235 2207 

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 123 countries