What is going on at the BBC? (BBC strike explained)

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2023/03/12: A general view of BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Tejas Sandhu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2023/03/12: A general view of BBC Broadcasting House in London. (Photo by Tejas Sandhu/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /
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The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) is a union organization for journalists in the UK and Ireland. 1,000 members of the group and who work at the BBC in London have gone on strike, which is the biggest BBC staff walkout in over a decade, per Deadline.

The strike began at 11 a.m. GMT on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, and the plan is for it to go for 24 hours, ending on Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 11 a.m. GMT, according to BBC News. The event has effected local broadcasts in the country, including some radio shows and television programs. Of those is radio presenter Pat Sissons at BBC Radio Solent, who is taking part in the walkout.

Deadline reports the event will also effect the BBC’s coverage of the government’s Budget, where UK political members speak about plans for the country like energy bills, and the potential of free childcare. The outlet shared the following statement from the BBC:

"We’re sorry that audiences will experience some changes to local tv and radio services in England as a result of industrial action by the National Union of Journalists. We have tried to minimise disruption as much as possible. We are obviously disappointed that the strike has gone ahead."

So why is the NUJ on strike? What happened at the BBC? We’ve got the answer for you below.

What is going on at the BBC? (BBC strike explained)

Members of the union said they have taken this action because the BBC has plans to merge local radio shows, Deadline shares. This would make about 50 current jobs no longer relevant. The network also recently stopped producing We Are England, a local documentary series.

The NUJ General Secretary, Michelle Stanistreet gave the following statement, per Deadline:

"Staff are striking this week as a last resort — they are under no illusion that the BBC’s plans will undermine already hollowed out local radio content across England."

However, the broadcasting company said money for local content is still there. Instead, their plan is to use that money to “modernise local services,” with a focus on more online and multimedia productions versus the traditional broadcast services, Deadline shares. The BBC said these changes wouldn’t see a reduction in staffing or funding.

The BBC strike is only one of many happening in the UK today. Other groups staging a walkout include teachers, doctors, and train workers.

Stay tuned to Hidden Remote as we bring you updates about the BBC strike.

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