Pitt Lane staff take part in nationwide BBC walkout

BBC Radio Shetland will be off the airwaves on Monday as local staff participate in a 24-hour nationwide strike over the threat of compulsory redundancies at the corporation.

National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members were on the picket line outside Lerwick’s Pitt Lane studios on Monday morning in protest at management decisions nationally.

BBC Radio Shetland has lost a producer’s post and seen cuts to its budget in the wake of the UK government’s decision to freeze the licence fee for five years.

Click on image to enlarge

NUJ mother of chapel for Aberdeen, Dundee and the Northern Isles Fiona Stalker said members were taking the action to “defend jobs and quality journalism at the corporation”.

She said Shetland staff had a “very specific and rich news patch” and it was “absolutely vital that the quality of their news and programming is protected”.

Ms Stalker said: “We’re angry and frustrated at the poor decisions being taken at the top of the BBC, decisions that are leading to journalists being forced out of their jobs and quality journalism and programming [being] compromised.

“NUJ members here in Scotland remain at risk of compulsory redundancies. Morale here at BBC Scotland has been described as rock bottom.

“We believe losing more staff will compromise quality and the range of news and current affairs stories we can cover. Our viewers, listeners and audience deserve more from their BBC.”

Unions described support for the strike, which forced flagship BBC shows including Radio 4’s Today programme off the air, as “solid” throughout the country.


Add Your Comment
  • Harry Dent

    • February 18th, 2013 12:33

    Solidarity to all involved in today’s action.

  • Iain Adam

    • February 19th, 2013 7:03

    Its the pits

  • andrew shearer

    • February 22nd, 2013 19:25

    Personally, I do sympathise with anyone who faces losing their jobs. But I do object to the party line by the NUJ of not compromising the quality of BBC journalism. What undermines their mistaken belief that they provide quality journalism was the headline news the day after their strike, and continues to be the headline news of Oscar Pistorius alleged murder of his girlfriend.

    What this reflects, is the basement journalism of the sespit, and not of the issues affecting our world today. Indeed, isn’t it about time the journalists at the BBC investigated the criminal activities of our legal system (Hillsborough), when they knew these things were happening, or the rough justice in the miners strike. But far too often we find the BBC journalists reporting after the fact in the safety of hindsight rather than getting to grips with these issues when others have battled on to expose corruption in our society.

    BBC journalists are obsessed only with reading the news, not reporting on it after close investigation of the facts. I could do that, but my looks, age, and political incorrectness bar me, and in that order.


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