BBC News Journalists Consider Strike Over Plans To Merge Channels & Axe 70 Jobs In London

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BBC News journalists are considering striking over the merger of the domestic and international news channels that will see 70 jobs axed.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ), which represents hundreds of BBC staffers, said a consultative ballot is taking place over action in response to the plans, which will see a rolling news service created that will carry both UK and global news. At present, the two are separate.

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A ballot for industrial action could take place at a later date, coming as journalists at UK newspaper publications including The Daily Mirror prepare to strike over pay.

NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “The BBC News Channel plays a major role in covering local elections, by-elections, floods and droughts as well as covering breaking domestic and international incidents they happen. We understand the BBC, after year-on-year cuts and freezing of the licence fee, is in a hard place but we cannot support a decision that will have a severe impact on the news provided.”

She urged BBC Director General Tim Davie to “step in and reverse this plan,” which will conversely see the creation of 20 roles in the BBC’s Washington bureau.

Sports programing, both domestic and international, will become more of a feature of the new channel, along with the creation of TV shows based on radio programs such as Nicky Campbell’s Radio 5 Live show, which will stream on weekday mornings.

Broadcasting union Bectu has also opposed the plans.

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