Local radio journalists from the East Midlands joined 1,000 colleagues from across the country on a strike –  the first since 2011.

In a show of solidarity, BBC journalists from the East Midlands had gone on strike on Wednesday 15 March 2023 to protest against the proposal to cut the broadcasts of local radio’s afternoon and evening shows.

The strike began outside the BBC building on London Road, lasting 24 hours and many different stations took part, including: BBC Radio Nottingham, East Midlands Today and members of the National Union of Journalists at BBC Radio Leicester and Derby.

The reason for the cuts is so more money can be directed towards digital services, but as a result, money would be taken away from local radio.

This would lead to local radio stopping after 2pm on weekdays and for most of the weekend, and instead, being replaced with regional programmes.

“it’s extraordinary the kind of pressure that can be built up by the threat of industrial action and actually taking industrial action”

Diana Peasey, CHAIR OF THE NOTTINGHAM BRANCH OF THE NUJ

Union members were holding placards reading “stop the cuts” and “support local news”.

Passers-by were showing their encouragement by honking their horns and cheering as they passed the building.

Chair of the Nottingham branch of the NUJ, Diana Peasey, said the strikes questioned the authenticity of the management and how there were many long-term issues arising from the disruption.

Audio: Diana Peasey questions the integrity of BBC management

The cuts dedicated to local radio programming could lead to subsequent job losses, similar to the reason for the strikes in 2011.

Diana Peasey added: “It’s extraordinary the kind of pressure that can be build up by the threat of industrial action and actually taking industrial action.”

However, a BBC spokesperson said: “We are obviously disappointed that the strike has gone ahead. We have a plan to modernise local services across England – including more news journalists and a stronger local online service – which will see no overall reduction in staffing levels or local funding.”

Thirty-nine local radio stations will be sharing shows.

Some £19 million will be moved from broadcast services to online and multimedia production.

There will be one “all-England” show from 10pm across the week, and on Sunday afternoons.

Source: BBC News