The National Union of Journalists has said it “cannot stand by and watch staff and outstanding public service content sacrificed to satisfy the demands of Rupert Murdoch and other commercial interests”.
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “BBC management’s strategy of desperate, hopeful self-sacrifice is fundamentally flawed. Far from convincing an incoming government or commercial rivals that the BBC should now be left well alone, their self-harming approach will only encourage commercial media operations to demand more cuts.”
BBC director general Mark Thompson set out a review of the BBC yesterday which included axing radio stations 6 Music and the Asian Network and cutting funding for the website by 25 per cent.
His proposals still have to go to the BBC Trust for final approval and it is carrying out its own consultation which concludes on 25 May.
Despite the NUJ’s opposition, his review seemed to be pretty good news for journalists on the whole. Aside from those working on the Asian Network, no journalism jobs appear to be put at risk. And Thompson stated unequivocally that producing the “best journalism in the world” was the BBC’s number one priority in the future.
Commercial news organisations should also benefit from his proposals to increase the amount of linking-out which the BBC does on its website.