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Release time:11 July 2008

Big pay rises and bonus’s for top BBC executives have been condemned as “unprincipled, unjustified and utterly insensitive” by the Chartered Institute of Journalists.

The Institute – whose broadcasting members include household names like Kate Adie and James Alexander Gordon – was outraged at huge rises in pay packages at a time when many BBC employees face redundancy under the guise of modernisation.

The chairman of the Institute’s Broadcasting Division, Paul Leighton – a former BBC Radio 2 newsreader- said: “Hundreds of BBC staff have had their lives turned upside down as they try and work out what is happening in the BBC. And while they are waiting to find out the kind of future they face, the pay package for one BBC Director has risen by more than £100,000.”

And he added: “Although bonuses for top executives were capped at 10 per cent of salaries, some have picked up more than £20,000 on top of their salary.”

The Institute said the protest is not simply about the Corporation’s financial “insensitivity” at a time of job losses. “We are concerned that cuts in news will undermine the BBC’s ability to provide quality Public Service Broadcasting which is why they are funded through the Licence Fee.

CIoJ General Secretary, Dominic Cooper, said “To cut jobs and put standards at risk in this way, while paying huge salaries to the bureaucrats, is a betrayal of the Corporation’s historic role and a smack in the face for loyal staff.”

Editors note:

1.    The Chartered Institute of Journalists is the oldest organisation representing journalists in the world. It has been protecting the interests of journalists and journalism for more than 120 years.

2. Interviews are available with Paul Leighton or Dominic Cooper by contacting the CIoJ on 0207-252-1187.

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