The local chapter of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) picketed the BBC offices in Summertown this week, insisting that local services should be restored not just here, but across the nation.
According to the union: “The NUJ has been campaigning to persuade the BBC to change plans which the union believes will “kill off” local radio. Under the BBC’s original proposals, BBC local radio stations would share programmes with neighbouring stations after 2pm on weekdays and at weekends. Some news bulletins would also be pre-recorded. The plans result in a loss of posts and journalists having to re-apply for their own jobs”.
The local group of Oxford hacks said: “The BBC has already ended television broadcasting from Oxford. The Oxford segment of regional news broadcasts was scrapped a few months ago.
“Geraldine Peers has more or less disappeared from television screens, and the BBC is now more or less wasting her very professional talent.”
The chapel added: “Those of us walking out today at BBC Oxford are not doing it because we want more pay or better conditions – we’re doing it for the listener. We love what we do and we love the BBC. We know the corporation needs to change, but to do it at the expense of local radio listeners is a huge mistake. These proposals will fatally damage local radio – there will be no way back. If we don’t save local radio now, it will be too late.”
Similar protests were held this week across the country.
At press time, the BBC hadn’t commented. Presumably because the NUJ members are working to rule. The Oxford Mail doesn’t appear to have covered the story. Ψ