BBC staff to be given 'journalism training' as strike disrupts schedule

The Drum understands that BBC Scotland is set to run three-hour long journalism training courses for non-journalists next month as it faces strike action from NUJ members.

The broadcaster has today has seen journalists walk out across the UK in a bid to affect the compulsory redundancy measures facing nine journalists at BBC Scotland as part of the Delivering Quality First budget cuts.

The courses are said to be being offered to 'non-journalist' factual staff working at the BBC and will run for three hours each day on 12 and 13 March.

Further strike action may be called in future, and it has been speculated that the two sessions will train staff to cover in order to avoid as much future disruption as possible. NUJ members have voiced their annoyance at the BBC for attempting to train non journalists to cover news in such a short time-scale.

Applications for the courses are being taken on a first-come, first served basis, The Drum has been told.

Each year, the BBC runs a trainee scheme, recruiting 12 new journalists on a year's placement within its online, TV and radio news rooms, where they are each mentored by a senior editor.

A spokesperson for the BBC today claimed the sessions were "a taster course from the BBC Academy", which they said were open to all members of staff and are "part of the BBC's on-going commitment to development".

They also added: "the academy courses are unrelated to the industrial action."

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Stephen Lepitak

Stephen Lepitak is editor of The Drum, with responsibility for overseeing the day-to-day running of the content produced for the various platforms run by the publication. Over the years he has interviewed agency network bosses such as Sir Martin Sorrell, Maurice Lévy and Arthur Sadoun, as well as Cindy Gallop, Kim Kardashian, film directors James Cameron, Spike Jonze, Richard Curtis and Lord David Puttnam. With a keen interest in media and breaking news, Lepitak has been with The Drum since 2005 and is based across its UK, US and Asia operations.

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