BBC must find alternative approach to cost savings at Radio Foyle

  • 18 Jan 2023

Mike Nesbitt, MLA and former BBC journalist has written to BBC Northern Ireland’s Interim Director over planned cuts at the station.

Proposed cuts to jobs and programmes at BBC Radio Foyle has been met with considerable opposition from NUJ members, politicians and local people who value the breadth and quality of content broadcast by the station.

Following his attendance at the NUJ’s public meeting at the Guildhall in Derry earlier this month, Mike Nesbitt, Member of Northern Ireland's Legislative Assembly and former BBC journalist has expressed concern over proposals in a letter to Adam Smyth, Interim director at BBC Northern Ireland.

In his letter, Nesbitt recognises the role journalists at Radio Foyle play in holding decision makers to account, particularly in the context of no functioning Northern Ireland Assembly or Executive. He calls for detail on the BBC's consultation process over cuts, voicing concern over its lack of “rigour, reach and thoroughness”, while expressing support for “an alternative approach to cost savings.”

Nesbitt also raises the lack of a Northern Ireland representative on the BBC board to scrutinise and challenge proposals, a point made by the union in joint calls with Mayor of Derry Sandra Duffy to BBC director general Tim Davie and chairman Richard Sharpe to visit Derry and engage directly with the community on the future of Radio Foyle.

The NUJ is calling on BBC management to rethink plans to cut jobs at Radio Foyle, alongside loved programmes serving communities. The union’s petition has amassed over 3700 signatures and NUJ members can sign to help raise awareness of calls. Sign the petition.


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