NUJ demands urgent rethink on jobs cuts at BBC Northern Ireland
“The decision to end the BBC Radio Foyle Breakfast Show and to end regional news bulletins is a betray of the people of Northern Ireland”. Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary.
The National Union of Journalists has demanded an urgent rethink of plans to cut 36 jobs in BBC Northern Ireland. Among plans announced today is the end of the very popular BBC Radio Foyle breakfast show and the discontinuation of daily regional news bulletins. The plans were announced this morning.
Two of Radio Foyle's daytime programmes - Sean Coyle's morning show and Mark Patterson's afternoon programme - will continue, along with a daily 30 minute news programme.
Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, said:
“The decision to end the BBC Radio Foyle Breakfast Show and to end regional news bulletins is a betray of the people of Northern Ireland. This is an attack on the very essence of public service broadcasting.
“Radio Foyle is part of the cultural landscape of the North West with a wide listenership on both sides of the border. The diminution of services in Radio Foyle is of particular concern and will be strongly resisted by the NUJ. We call on political parties, community groups, trade unions and listeners to join us in opposing this move.
“The NUJ is opposed to the redundancy plan. If redundancies are implemented, they should be on a voluntary basis. The BBC should go back to the drawing board and achieve savings in some other fashion. This is a wrong-headed plan at a time when Northern Ireland needs a diversity of news coverage. BBC Radio Foyle is vital to the life of Derry, a vibrant city with a tremendous heart and a resilient spirit.
“Today’s news will be met with strong resistance, and we will support our members at BBC Northern Ireland in taking a stand to defend employment and public service broadcasting across Northern Ireland. Local news for local communities is not something which should be discarded in this fashion.”