BBC executive admits that consequences of latest budget and staff cuts 'will be felt by audiences'
The £48 million savings programme at BBC News will see 415 full-time posts cut
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Thursday 17 July 2014
The high-profile Panorama reporter John Sweeney is among the casualties in a £48m savings programme at BBC News that will see 415 full-time posts cut.
James Harding, the BBC’s director of news, admitted in an announcement to staff that audiences would notice the cuts because they are so severe.
“It will have an impact, directly and indirectly, on a great many people inside the organisation,” he said.
“We are going to go through a very testing time of uncertainty and change. Its consequences will be felt by audiences, too.”
Mr Sweeney, best known for his presentation of Panorama documentaries on the Church of Scientology and North Korea – where he controversially went undercover on a student trip – is one of the BBC’s best-known investigative journalists.
“I think management wants control,” said Mr Sweeney. “The problem is that people might like to watch someone who is not necessarily going to toe the establishment line.
"I think they’re afraid of trouble and I’m trouble. My nickname for the past couple of months has been ‘Dead Man Walking’. Funny, but also prophetic.”
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