BBC News criticised for taking on Lucy Manning and Ed Campbell shortly before expected 500 redundancies

The National Union of Journalists has criticised BBC News after it announced the appointments of Lucy Manning and Ed Campbell this week shortly before 500 redundancies are expected to be made across the division.

Questions have also been raised about the way the pair were recruited, and whether they were taken on in an "open and fair" manner.

Sue Harris, national organiser for broadcast at the NUJ, told Press Gazette that members have found the timing of the announcement “really, really upsetting”.

Referring to the recruitment of ITV News’s UK editor Manning and Campbell, a senior news editor at ITN, she accused BBC News chief James Harding of bringing in staff "without due process”.

“At a time when we know there are 500 job cuts in the offing, for the BBC to be appointing… people on [large] salaries, does not go down well,” Harris said.

“I bumped into members yesterday and people are saying that it is sending out a message that we [BBC News journalists] are rubbish.”

She added: “This is not the first time that they have appointed without any real formal recruitment process… It is really, really upsetting.”

Manning is to be made a special correspondent and Campbell will be special correspondents editor.

Yesterday, Press Gazette asked the BBC whether Manning and Campbell’s positions were formally advertised, whether there was a formal interview process and for a comment on the suggestion they were not taken on in an “open and fair process”, as had been suggested by a BBC News insider.

A spokesperson said: “We ensure we fill roles competitively using a variety of different recruitment methods. On occasion, on-air reporters or other key editorial staff have been recruited for in a different way, but always within the proper recruitment process.”

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