Mayor of Derry to host NUJ at public meeting opposing cuts to BBC Radio Foyle

  • 03 Jan 2023

On 4 January, NUJ president Pierre Vicary will address the local community as part of the union's Save BBC Radio Foyle public meeting featuring prose and poetry, chaired by assistant general secretary Séamus Dooley.

As the community campaign to save BBC Radio Foyle continues to grown in strength, all are invited to attend tomorrow, standing in defence of the much-loved station. 

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council Sandra Duffy will host a public meeting in the Guildhall Derry at 6.30pm on 4 January amid growing support for the campaign to halt cuts to news coverage and jobs at BBC Radio Foyle.

Organised by the Derry and North West branch of the National Union of Journalists the meeting will provide public representatives, trade unionists, community groups and listeners from across the North West with an opportunity to voice their opposition to the plan to axe Radio Foyle’s Breakfast News and the local North West news bulletins.

Keynote speaker NUJ president Pierre Vicary will lead the attendance from NUJ members. The meeting will initially be addressed by the Lord Mayor, and trade union representatives. Mr Vicary is a distinguished BBC journalist.

NUJ members at BBC Radio Foyle will speak at the meeting and there will be an update on the status of the BBC’s plans from the NUJ.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, thanks the people of Derry and the North West region for their support.

She said:

“It has been encouraging and inspiring to witness such an outpouring of support for BBC Northern Ireland and in particular BBC Radio Foyle. Local news matters to local people and it is evidence that the people of the North West value a station which has served them in an exemplary fashion over the decades. I am grateful to the mayor and council members and to all the political and community leaders who have responded so generously and effectively.”

Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, who will chair the meeting emphasised this week that the meeting is a community gathering intended to provide local people with an opportunity to demand the retention of local public service broadcasting in Derry.

He said:

“The ill-conceived plan to axe services at BBC Radio Foyle has been met with strong community resistance. BBC Radio Foyle is a vital part of the local media landscape. The people of the city are proud of the station and their local papers and know the value of locally generated news content.

“BBC management were taken by surprise at the strength of community and political support for the station and there is now an opportunity to amplify that support.

“As the first phase of the consultation process draws to a close we want to send a powerful message from the Guildhall to the Director General and his team - ‘hands off BBC Radio Foyle.’

“Everyone is welcome at the meeting and the overwhelming cross community support has been greatly appreciated by our members at Foyle. The nature of that support is an eloquent testimony of the value played on BBC Radio Foyle.”

Pierre Vicary, NUJ president, said:

“As president, I want to thank the community groups and individuals who has signed petitions, have written letters and contacted our members at BBC Radio Foyle. The NUJ is fighting cuts to local Radio by the BBC across the UK. In Northern Ireland we must resist any attempt to undermine services and our officials are working with their local union representatives to highlight the need to maintain the integrity of BBC Radio Foyle.

“This is a tough time for our members, and I want to make tribute to them for their professionalism and commitment in the most difficult circumstances.”

Find out more about the NUJ's Save BBC Radio Foyle campaign.
Sign the petition urging BBC management to rethink plans to cut jobs and programmes. Share it with friends and colleagues to help us raise awareness. 

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