650 more BBC jobs to go in World Service cuts

Bush House: the home of BBC World Service
Its motto used to be “Nation shall speak peace unto Nation”.

But that will be much less true  in future after the announcement of the closure of five overseas services by BBC World Service, bringing the total number of job losses at the corporation announced in the the space of two days to more than 1,000.

On Monday, 360 jobs at the BBC’s online service were axed.

Like the online cuts, the 500 job losses at BBC World Service are thought very likely to impact some sports broadcasters.

The cuts come as a result of a reduction in funding from the Foreign Office.

The World Service broadcasts to an audience of 180 million people in English and 31 other languages. Under the proposals announced on Tuesday night, it will close Albanian, Macedonian, Serbian and Portuguese for Africa services, as well as the English for the Caribbean regional service.

“These closures are not a reflection on the performance of individual services or programmes,” said BBC Global News Director, Peter Horrocks.

“It is simply that there is a need to make savings due to the scale of the cuts … and we need to focus our efforts in the languages where there is the greatest need and where we have the strongest impact.”

The National Union of Journalists is to protest the job cuts outside World Service headquarters at Bush House in London’s Aldwych from 1pm on Wednesday, Jan 26.

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