NUJ urges BBC to go further to reduce radio cuts
The National Union of Journalists has welcomed the BBC Trust's decision to rethink the £15m worth of cuts that the corporation was planning to enforce on its local radio services - but it is still concerned about the number of journalists that will lose their jobs.
BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has insisted that the plans be reworked after warning that the cuts would have a "disproportionate impact" on the BBC's reputation.
About half of the £15m cuts will now be reversed, a move which has been welcomed by the NUJ. But NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, urged Patten to reduce the proposed cuts still further.
Stanistreet said: "Local radio is for some sections of the population, particularly the elderly, a lifeline. I am pleased that the BBC Trust has made this small concession, but it has obviously not listened to the concerns of the many others who took part in the consultation.
"These cuts, which will result in the loss of 2,000 jobs, on top of the 7,000 jobs lost since 2004, will severely damage the quality of the service provided by the BBC. It will damage its ability to produce quality creative programming and investigative journalism. It will damage its function as a public service broadcaster.
"I am also amazed that the Trust is happy to agree to the 40 per cent cuts at the Asian Network, a launchpad for new Asian talent. Fifteen posts will go by 2013 and the news team will move out of Leicester to London. The Trust appears to have rubberstamped the BBC’s management plans, without listening to the concerns made in the consultation."