Serving professional journalism since 1912

Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

CIoJ deplores BBC staff cuts

Press Release
Release date: 6 July 2020

“BBC plans to cut 450 jobs in local and regional radio, online and TV have been condemned as “a total betrayal” of loyal news staff. Additionally, such action will alienate the public.

The charge comes from the Chartered Institute of Journalists, which says the proposals fatally undermine the BBC’s presence in the regions and the vital service they currently provide to national network news in television, radio and online outlets.   

“The cuts are a tragedy for journalists who have provided meaningful community coverage and ensured that the nation is properly informed about the issues that matter to people across the UK.” said CIoJ Broadcasting Chairman Paul Leighton – himself a former local BBC producer.   

He said the BBC had claimed that it wanted to get away from being a London-centric organisation, but was now engaged in demolishing some of the most valuable local providers of news and current affairs.   

He added: “It is only a few weeks since many MPs – including the Leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg – had praised the excellence of the regional output.  Somerset MP, Mr Rees Mogg, had drawn attention to the valuable role of his region’s evening TV news magazine ‘Points West,’ which he said provided an invaluable and much appreciated service.”

Leighton said: “The BBC has chosen cuts which will hit local services hardest, with the vast bulk of BBC funding reserved for output from London and – as a sop to the North – Salford.  It is a shameful and unacceptable cut too far.

“A cynic might wonder if this is a shot across the Government’s bows in advance of the next discussion on BBC funding and the licence fee.”

The Institute, alongside sympathetic local authorities and MPs, will lobby the BBC to reverse its unwelcome decision.   

The proposed cuts follow an earlier announcement of job losses in national Network television and radio.