Monday 1 December 2008

Bectu blast for Guardian and BBC Trust

Mark Scrimshaw, chair of broadcasting union Bectu's BBC Division, gives the BBC Trust and The Guardian both barrels today over the Trust's decision to block BBC plans to beef up its local websites with video reports.
Scimshaw, in a letter published in MediaGuardian, claims the Trust "has shown itself to be craven and pusillanimous, more beholden to commercial interests than any idea of public service broadcasting." He doesn't spare The Guardian, arguing it should have declared an interest in its coverage of the story because it is part of Guardian Media Group which owns a string of local papers, including the Manchester Evening News. Scrimshaw adds: "It (The Guardian) represents one of the main players to gain from the lack of competition thus created, and will be able to continue to get away with lamentable quality and exploitative wages and conditions...The losers from all this are staff in English Regions particularly, who will now face swathes of redundancies; and viewers, who will have to put up with the pitiful offerings of local newspapers' online video rather than a BBC alternative."

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