BBC to cut 450 jobs in bid to save £25million

The BBC is looking to axe 450 jobs across England by the end of March 2022, the corporation has announced.

It comes as BBC England must save £25 million by the end of that period.

The cuts would be in addition to 150 jobs cuts announced last week for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The NUJ has said the cuts “could have a serious impact on its ability to represent all parts of the country and produce high-quality local news and investigative journalism”.

Helen Thomas, the director of BBC England, said: “I’m proud people have turned to us for trusted news and information in huge numbers during Covid-19, proving the importance of our local and regional services. But those services were created more than 50 years ago, have changed very little and need significant reinvention. That has meant taking some difficult decisions.

“We are in the age of the Facebook community group and the WhatsApp neighbourhood chat. We must adapt to better reflect how people live their lives, how they get their news and what content they want.

“We’re going to modernise our offer to audiences in England by making digital a central part of everything we do. We’ll take forward lessons from Covid-19 that will make us more agile and more in touch with communities while also ensuring we’re as efficient as we can be.

“I’m confident we can evolve our local and regional services while improving our impact and better serving our audiences.”

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “These are huge cuts which will inevitably have an impact on the BBC’s ability to sustain the breadth and depth of news coverage throughout England which truly reflects the diversity of the nation.

“We are consulting our members on how these plans will impact on the BBC’s output and the extent to which it will increase workloads on already-stretched newsrooms.

“The NUJ welcomes the BBC’s commitment to swiftly share vital data on equality impact and stress risk assessments. But we will be seeking greater clarity on how the additional 125 voluntary redundancies will be assessed, and looking for guarantees that a joined-up and robust redeployment process will be carried out. Any attempts to instigate compulsory redundancies will be robustly resisted by the NUJ.

“The financial challenges are clear – the solution requires public engagement and financial intervention from the Government to ensure the BBC’s survival as an institution prized and valued all over the world. The Covid-19 crisis has shown more than ever the need for an effective public service broadcaster and for trusted, quality journalism in an era of disinformation and fake news.

“We cannot allow the BBC to sleepwalk into a death by a thousand cuts, which will inevitably see people switch off because they aren’t getting the service they want.”

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