Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/614/8952
Savage cuts planned at the Beeb
The BBC Trust has ear-marked deep cuts in the corporation. It will mean slashing jobs and the budget of the BBC's online news service by 25%, closing digital radio stations 6 Music and Asian Network, and selling off its magazines such as the Radio Times. Over 60,000 people have signed an online petition to stop the radio stations being axed.
The cuts are in anticipation of measures by an incoming government, saddled with a huge public spending deficit. Whoever wins the election will take the axe to the BBC's budget, no doubt using the subterfuge of 'value for licence-fee payers' in the wake of the recently exposed inflated BBC salaries paid to 'celebrities'.
The cuts also reflect the pressures from outside commercial media interests who are keen to curtail the BBC's large online news market share.
The cuts programme has been drawn up by John Tate, the BBC's policy director, who just happened to have co-authored the Tories' 2005 manifesto with David Cameron. The Tories have for a long time targeted the Beeb as a hotbed of 'radicals and pinkos'(if only!).
The planned cuts come only months after News Corporation chairman James Murdoch attacked the BBC for: "Dumping free, state sponsored news on the market [which] makes it incredibly difficult for journalism to flourish on the internet."
News Corporation - which intends to charge for its online news content - would of course benefit from a reduction in the BBC's output.
In The Socialist 3 March 2010:
Youth fight for jobs
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
The Socialist Interview
Socialist Party women
Socialist Party feature