View Full Version : MP's talks on BBC cuts

02-Oct-12, 16:47
David Stewart voices concern to head of news

HIGHLANDS & Islands Labour MSP David Stewart met with BBC Scotland’s Head of News and Current Affairs, John Boothman in the Scottish Parliament.
David Stewart said “I am very concerned about the knock on effects of the proposals to cut half the senior staff at BBC Inverness. What this means is that news and current affairs across the Highlands & Islands will be drastically affected if matters are going to be controlled from Pacific Quay. I will suggest to Mr Boothman that these proposed cuts need to be reviewed, if for no other reason than because of the vast land mass that current BBC staff have to cover. How can they do this with 50% less staff and still provide a quality service?”
Last month (August 29), BBC Scotland’s Head of News and Current Affairs, John Boothman, met staff at Inverness, just a day after he’d announced his plan to cut half the senior journalists’ posts at BBC Inverness, serving the Highlands and Islands.
There are a total of seven staff posts in BBC Inverness, covering an area the size of Belgium. They consist of one news editor: three reporters (one part time): two news sub-editors/newsreaders, who provide Highlands and Islands bulletins on Radio Scotland: and one online journalist, whose main responsibility is the Highlands and Islands news page for BBC Online.
Inverness also acts as the News and Current Affairs headquarters for all Gaelic broadcasting, in much the same way as Pacific Quay in Glasgow does for BBC Scotland. It is from this pool – and those who work elsewhere, across the Highlands and Islands that management suggests that synergies of workforce can come into play.
In Skye recently, BBC Scotland Director Ken Macquarrie assured the Gaelic audience that he would not require hard-pressed Gaelic staff to “work harder” to cover the gap created by the English language job losses.
Finally Mr Stewart added: “John Boothman has agreed to write to me to give me a formal decision on the concerns that I have raised.”