- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
LONDON – British Prime Minister David Cameron has dismissed Monday’s strike by BBC journalists and suggestions that the U.K. public broadcaster’s financial position was challenged, according to the Guardian.
He contrasted a six-year freeze in the license fee that U.K. taxpayers must pay to help fund the BBC with cuts to some public spending. The license fee deal was reached in 2010.
“I think the license fee settlement we came to in 2010 was a fair one,” Cameron said. “When you look at what other institutions have had to bear in terms of efficiencies, I think that freeze in the license fee and taking on some additional costs was a good outcome.”
Concluded Cameron: “So I think the BBC is a well funded broadcaster, and I am sure it has got the resources necessary to cover important things going on in the world.”
Thousands of BBC journalists joined in the 24-hour strike on Monday, forcing flagship news programs, including the Breakfast morning TV show, evening magazine show Newsnight and Radio 4’s Today off the air. The National Union of Journalists organized the strike in protest of cost-saving measures, dubbed Delivering Quality First by BBC bosses.
About 2,000 jobs are expected to be eliminated over seven years as part of the BBC cuts. The union particularly spoke out against a few dozen of the cuts, arguing that they would endanger the BBC’s reputation for quality journalism.
The BBC said it was “disappointed” with the labor action, adding that it would not change the fact that it has to make “significant” savings.
The union on Tuesday criticized Cameron for his comments. NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet accused the Conservative Party leader as putting the BBC on “a path to decline.” She suggested that “he knows the price of everything and the value of nothing,” the Guardian quoted her as saying. “He’s clueless about the need for working people to fight for jobs and public services.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day