Lhe BBC, which has been on a drastic austerity program in recent years, announced on Thursday its intention to cut 382 posts on its international service.
The plan by the BBC World Service will lead to the closure of radio stations in Arabic, Persian and Chinese, and the termination of some television programs in Africa or Asia, according to a press release from the British Public Audiovisual Group. None of the 41 foreign language services will be closed completely, but the BBC has promised that almost half of them will be available online only.
Tough financial environment
“Changing public habits around the world, as more people access information digitally, are accompanied by a difficult financial environment,” the group said. As it approaches its centenary next month, the BBC is already under considerable financial pressure: in addition to an aging audience, the Conservative government has frozen license fees for two years, leaving a gap in its accounts due to high levels of inflation. The environment has worsened in recent months due to rising prices and costs, forcing the BBC to make “tough choices”.
365 million people are viewers
The BBC World Service reaches 365 million people worldwide every week and its programs are particularly important in countries where press freedom is restricted.
The measures announced on Thursday aim to achieve savings of £28.5 million (around €31 million) a year, and the plan is part of a digital acceleration program announced in May that will result in 1,000 job cuts (out of 22,000) and £500 million in annual cuts. With this in mind, the group has already announced its intention to merge its British and international news channels. It will also stop streaming some channels.
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