Bectu responds to Newsnight cuts

30 November 2023

Responding to reports that BBC’s Newsnight is to be cut back and its format overhauled, Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said:

“The Newsnight cuts are further decimation of BBC services and a significant blow to one of the cornerstones of the BBC’s reputation as a trusted news provider.

“The reduction in the distinctive, in-depth investigations element of this hugely respected programme is devastating news for everyone concerned. Bectu members and other staff impacted by the Newsnight cuts and associated changes do brilliant work every day and their professionalism and excellence add so much to the creative and social fabric of the UK.

“These proposed cuts must once again be considered in the context of the Government’s decision to freeze the licence fee. A reduction in funding has made damaging cuts inevitable. The resulting job losses and ultimately a reduced BBC, from which we all suffer, only reinforces the need for a licence fee that keeps pace with inflation and enables long-term planning and stability.

“The BBC’s need to make savings is clear, but this latest round of cuts seems to indicate a worrying trend towards reducing services that provide critical, in-depth analysis. Central tenets of the BBC’s mission are to inform and educate; Bectu is concerned that in a world of fake news, disinformation and political turmoil, slashing programmes like Newsnight in favour of short-form, digital journalism is a concerning move.

“Bectu will fully engage with the BBC over these proposals and do everything we can to support our members affected. The BBC must understandably meet the challenges of a changing media landscape; we will continue to fully engage with them to ensure the public service broadcaster is positioned strongly for the future and can continue to deliver for the public and provide security for its workforce.”

Support for members 

In already difficult times, we know these announcements and periods of uncertainty are very challenging for our members. 

If you need support, contact your local rep or [email protected]

Do you have a friend or colleague at the BBC? 

Union membership is more important than ever, giving people a voice at the BBC.  Anyone working at the BBC can join Bectu here.

Bectu wants to see decent funding for the BBC, enabling fair pay and secure jobs. Read our BBC manifesto here

Defending our public service broadcasters 

The choices the BBC makes is determined by the funding available and reinforces the need for a robust BBC funding model going forward. 

Find out more about Bectu’s ‘Licence to More’ campaign here.  

BBC Broadcasting House

Bectu and the BBC

The biggest union in the BBC