NUJ response to the BBC’s decision to move parts of its in-house speech audio production to BBC Studios

  • 25 May 2023

The union has concerns about creeping privatisation and a lack of protection for the corporation's public purposes in radio production.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

“While many news and current affairs programme have so far been exempted from the move to BBC Studios, the corporation’s commercial arm, the union is very concerned that the new plans represent a further creep towards privatising licence-fee payers programmes. What has been most worrying for those involved in the consultations is that those in the higher echelons of the BBC seem to have lost their commitment to public service broadcasting. Yes, the government has starved the BBC of funds, but some of the management’s decisions appear not to be about ‘making hard choices’, but a shift away from protecting the BBC's public purposes in radio production.

“Also, during the consultation, BBC management failed to make a convincing case to the NUJ for the financial rationale for the plans. When we asked for financial information, this was often denied because of ‘commercial confidentiality’ which raises questions about transparency and accountability of the BBC. The union has not argued against the BBC benefiting from revenue from its popular output, but these decisions should not undermine the integrity of the BBC.”

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