The BBC has announced almost 400 job losses as the corporation makes cuts to the World Service’s foreign-language broadcasting.
International services are being moved to a “digital first” online format, rather than airing on TV and radio, in a bid to make £28 million in savings.
The corporation has announced that it expects 382 jobs to be lost as a result of these changes, which will see cuts to broadcast services in languages including Chinese and Urdu.
The BBC’s language-specific services in Gujarati, Igbo, Indonesian, Pidgin, Urdu, and Yoruba will also be moved to a purely online publishing format as part of cost-saving measures to tackle a £285 million funding shortfall caused by the License Fee freeze.
Director of BBC World Service, Liliane Lando, said: “There is a compelling case for expanding our digital services across the World Service in order to better serve and connect with our audiences.
“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing.”
The cost-saving measures will prioritize cheaper online content over more expensive radio and television output for foreing language services. This has already happened for services in Azerbaijani, Brasil, Marathi, Mundo, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.
The BBC is also planning to stop radio services in Arabic, Persian, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Hindi, Bengali, Chinese, Indonesian, Tamil, and Urdu
The changes have been announced as part of a wider plan to save money by moving the BBC to this “digital first” format, which the corporation hopes will save £500 million.
While some services will be downsized, others will be relocated, with the Thai service moving from London to Bangkok, the Korean service to Seoul, the Bangla service to Dhaka.
The cuts come after a freeze on the license fee which BBC direct-general Tim Davie said would have an inevitable impact on services. He said in january that it was “inevitable” that with less money to work with, the BBC would be forced to provide “less services and less programmes”.