NUJ members continue battle to defend BBC local radio

Over two months after the last round of action in March, NUJ members were back out on the picket lines in the battle to defend local radio services.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

In that time BBC management have pressed on with their attacks, merging content, with presenters of day time shows leaving the company after being forced to reapply for their own jobs.

Having seen commercial local radio stations decimated over the last decade, with local news and shows axed in favour of networked content, then BBC workers remain not just deeply opposed to the ongoing cuts but worried that the regionalised shows that have replaced local shows could soon themselves be replaced by neutered ones produced nationally.

As was pointed out on the picket line in Leeds, the 39 BBC local radio stations have a collective listenership of 5.1m, yet BBC management have viewed it as something they didn’t want to develop. Mention was made of a managed decline, with limited to no promotional budget.

But pickets were hopeful their message was beginning to get through, with public support expressed through messages the NUJ had been receiving. They also welcomed the response to the NUJ lobby of parliament on the Wednesday and that 26 Yorkshire MPs have written to BBC Director General Tim Davie over the cuts.

But they understood that this opposition is growing on the back of the strike action they were taking and showed determination not to let the BBC bosses try to get away with the cuts as a done deal.

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