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No Channel Islands news as BBC Jersey staff fight for local radio

No Channel Islands news as BBC Jersey staff fight for local radio

Wednesday 15 March 2023

No Channel Islands news as BBC Jersey staff fight for local radio

Wednesday 15 March 2023

There will be no Channel Islands news on BBC One today or tomorrow morning after Jersey employees joined a national strike in protest against local radio cuts in the UK.

No Channel Islands news aired at 13:30, and broadcasts due to take place at 18:30 and 22:30 will not be going ahead either as a result of the strike, which started at 11:00 today and will finish at 11:00 tomorrow.

BBC Jersey said these programmes will be replaced with Planet Earth Live and Garden Rescue, while tomorrow's breakfast TV bulletins will be provided by the BBC Salford team.

The national strike, which was timed to cause disruption to the coverage of the announcement of the UK budget, was organised by the National Union of Journalists in response to cuts to the BBC's local services.

The proposed cuts mean that output from local radio stations will be shared after 14:00 on weekdays and weekends, with only 40 hours a week of guaranteed local programming.

Following unsuccessful negotiations with the BBC, the NUJ balloted its members for strike action and, of the 1,000 members balloted, 83% voted in favour of strike action. 

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary, said of the strike action: "Staff are striking this week as a last resort - they are under no illusion that the BBC’s plans will undermine already hollowed out local radio content across England.

"It’s not simply a question about jobs and conditions for our members – they believe passionately in the value that quality local content brings to their audiences, journalism that is trusted and relied upon in the communities they serve."

Whilst the cuts will not specifically affect BBC Jersey and Guernsey, NUJ members at BBC Jersey still decided to walk out in support of the national protests. 

Deputy Sam Mézec, the leader of Reform Jersey, offered his support on Twitter today, commenting: "Solidarity with those taking action to defend local radio."

A BBC Spokesperson said: "We are obviously disappointed that the strike has gone ahead.

"We have a plan to modernise local services across England - including more news journalists and a stronger local online service – which will see no overall reduction in staffing levels or local funding.

"Our goal is a local service across TV, radio and online that delivers even greater value to communities. We will continue to engage with the trade union and do everything possible to minimise the impact on staff."

Pictured top: BBC Jersey staff protesting outside their studios in Parade Road, St. Helier.

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Posted by Keith Marsh on
These striking journalists should think of the larger picture ~ The BBC is fighting for its life and many people in all walks of life want it split up or gone altogether.
The dear old BBC has to change and its funding is out of date.
I, for one, don't want to see the end of this wonderful organisation, but that will only be saved by change.
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