BBC journalists to stage fresh strike over planned cuts to local radio

BBC journalists are to stage a 48-hour strike in a dispute over cuts to local radio services in England.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said 1,000 of its members will walk out on Wednesday and Thursday.

The union says it is protesting at BBC’s plans to “dramatically reduce” local radio services across England.

The strikes follow industrial action by journalists in March.

The NUJ said negotiations with the BBC had “stalled”, adding that the proposals have failed to address the union’s concerns about the impact of fewer services, and an increase in shared programmes.

Paul Siegert, the NUJ’s national broadcasting organiser, said: “Journalists are striking in defence of services that are valued by communities across the country.

“We do not oppose change within the BBC but believe the manner in which the Digital First strategy is being enforced will destroy access to relevant, local radio that so many rely on.

“This 48-hour strike is about journalists standing up for local radio services, and the public have rallied behind members in their fight to keep local radio local.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We understand this is a difficult period of change for many colleagues and we will continue to support everyone affected by the plans to strengthen our local online services across news and audio.

“Our goal is to deliver a local service across TV, radio and online that offers more value to more people in more local communities.

“While the plans do impact on individual roles, we are maintaining our overall investment in local services and expect our overall level of editorial staffing across England to remain unchanged.”