BBC faces walkout of over 1000 journalists

BBC journalists working across England are set to go on a 24-hour strike from 11am today  (Wednesday 15 March), after eleventh-hour talks with management fall through. 

The move from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members comes following proposals by the broadcaster to cut services at BBC Local radio stations to 40 hours of weekly programming.

Over 1,000 journalists working in radio, TV, and online are expected to strike throughout England, with their return to the broadcaster from 11am Thursday 16 March.

The union has recently been in talks with the BBC regarding the budget cuts, after 83 per cent of balloted members voted in favour of strike action last month.

The BBC faced disruptions earlier last Saturday with a mass walkout by pundits and commentators on Match of the Dayin support of the sports presenter Gary Lineker who was suspended over a Tweet critical of the government’s asylum policy.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Staff are striking this week as a last resort – they are under no illusion that the BBC’s plans will undermine already hollowed out local radio content across England. It’s not simply a question about jobs and conditions for our members – they believe passionately in the value that quality local content brings to their audiences, journalism that is trusted and relied upon in the communities they serve. The BBC’s raiding of local radio budgets to fund its Digital First strategy is wrongheaded and risks undermining a vital part of our public service broadcasting. People want local relevant news that is accessible, and that should remain a core part of the breadth of BBC output.”

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