Why are journalists striking today?

The BBC is planning to cut local radio content by more than half  (James Manning / PA)
The BBC is planning to cut local radio content by more than half (James Manning / PA)

BBC journalists are striking today in response to planned cuts to local radio.

Local news, sport and weather journalists, who are members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), will be on strike today from 11am.

They will walk out for 24 hours, which the union said will affect the coverage of Thursday’s three parliamentary by-elections.

However. the union has said the campaign has considerable backing from the public.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Why are journalists striking?

BBC local radio is under threat because the state broadcaster wants to pool local stations, significantly reducing their individual news coverage.

Local radio stations would share programmes spanning the network, which would reduce more than 100 hours of local programming per station per week to just 40.

BBC journalists believe such proposals will destroy local radio , which has 5.7 million listeners.

Those taking strike action work in local radio, regional TV, and online in England.

The journalists have also been on a work to rule as part of their dispute.

Is there local news from the BBC today?

NUJ national broadcasting organiser Paul Siegert said: “This strike action will again have a huge impact on BBC Local output, with many stations and programmes expected to be off-air.

“NUJ members would much rather be working in newsrooms on Thursday and Friday, but the BBC’s damaging plans for job cuts, slashing local radio and changing ways of working, remain deeply unpopular.

“We believe there are ways to protect and promote digital investment without cutting much-loved and valued local radio content.

“With an election around the corner, holding local politicians to account is more important than ever.

“Let’s protect and promote BBC Local, not eviscerate it.”

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.”