Thompson blasted for “ripping heart out of BBC news”

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The National Union of Journalists has accused BBC director general
Mark Thompson of “ripping the heart out of programme making” by
proposing job cuts of 2000.
 
The cuts are expected to affect many
journalists and will include those working in news, factual and
learning, nations and regions and be across radio and TV.
 
NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “First
Mark Thompson severed the BBC’s arteries with the announcement of 1700
job losses in professional services now we face the prospect of him
ripping the heart out of BBC programme making.
 
“Throughout this whole turbulent period he has
still failed to answer the single most important question – how can the
BBC maintain the quality and standards it is justifiably praised for
whilst axing thousands of staff?
 
“How can hard working staff maintain quality
whilst trying to do not only their own job but that of thousands of
their colleagues to? The inevitable result is that staff will face burn
out whilst standards and quality will be damaged. That will have
extremely serious consequences for BBC journalism and programme making
and the BBC’s ability to meet its charter commitments.
 
“BBC staff deserve better than to be used as
political pawns in what many see as an unsavoury and grubby deal
between government and senior BBC management. How can staff have
confidence in those who think that what is best for the BBC is to cut
thousands of staff, reduce programme budgets and hand over parts of its
infrastructure to the private sector.
 
“Whilst management, governors and the government
may have abandoned staff we will do everything within our power to
protect staff, stop compulsory redundancies and ensure the BBC has the
ability and resources to fulfil its key public service role.
 
“The BBC’s figures simply do not add up. They are
based on questionable assumptions and fail to take proper regard as to
how money could be saved without axing jobs”.
 
Dear said BBC unions – NUJ, BECTU and AMICUS – will be seeking a meeting with management to discuss the cuts.

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