In an effort to defend their jobs and stem what they consider the compromise of quality journalism and programming, members of the National Union of Journalists working for the BBC went on strike just after midnight local time on Monday. The 24-hour walkout comes as workers are “angry and frustrated at the poor decisions being taken at the top of the BBC” regarding staffing and layoffs. The public broadcaster has been tightening its belt since revenues were cut drastically through 2016 due to a freeze on the TV license fees that help support it. According to the union, 7,000 jobs have been shed since 2004 and another 2,000 cuts are expected. The BBC has also been hit by scandals related to the flagship Newsnight program which resulted in the resignation of former director general George Entwistle late last year amid what’s been termed “one of the worst management crises in the BBC’s history.” Entwistle’s replacement, Tony Hall, comes aboard in March. Already last week, Hall caused some controversy with his appointment of a former Labour Party minister to a highly-paid senior position. Scheduling was due to be disrupted throughout the day across the BBC’s radio and TV properties with news and talk shows replaced by reality reruns.
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