The flow of vital news and information to the public is threatened by continuing savage cuts to jobs in newspapers and broadcasting, the NUJ warned today.
The warning follows a surge in editorial job cuts announced last week at the BBC and newspapers around the UK.
According to the NUJ, the BBC has proposed 1,500 job cuts in BBC news. More than 100 people are now at risk of compulsory redundancy in the BBC World Service. NUJ members are also at risk in BBC Monitoring, BBC Scotland, and potentially at BBC Wales, BBC 4, BBC Sport and TV Current Affairs.
Last week the NUJ held urgent talks in Glasgow with the Daily Record following the announcement that up to 90 editorial jobs could go as part of a restructuring exercise. The Midland News Association is pushing ahead with 35 redundancies in Shropshire Newspapers and 60 jobs are also at risk at the Wolverhampton Express & Star.
Journalists at Newsquest in South London will strike on Wednesday and Thursday this week (June 15 and 16) in a dispute over redundancies and in support of quality local journalism. This week will also see BBC NUJ members start a ballot for strike action on compulsory redundancies at the Corporation.
While jobs are threatened at the BBC, the new chairman of the BBC Trust Lord Patten has indicated that protecting the World Service is a priority for the corporation.
NUJ general secretary-elect Michelle Stanistreet (top) said: "The NUJ welcomes the commitment by Lord Patten to put a stop to the damaging cuts at the BBC World Service. We are pleased he has recognised the international protests against the cuts which echoed everything that BBC journalists have said about their concern for the service they provide.
“The continuing attacks on our members’ jobs are a result of the continuing economic meltdown. The NUJ is determined to take all action necessary to defend the jobs of journalists and to protect the vital public service they provide.”
- Pic: Michelle Stanistreet at 'Save the World Service' demo at Bush House ( Jon Slattery).