The NUJ have warmly welcomed the news that the BBC are about to invest up to £30 million per year in journalism and in the creative industry in Scotland.
Tony Hall made the announcement at Pacific Quay in front of the gathered workforce and it would be fair to say took most people by surprise. There had been suggestions, leading to concerns among overstretched workers that the budget demands from BBC Scotland management would not be met. However the details provided to staff in the briefing tackled many of the concerns about future resourcing of news and current affairs.
Although the ambitious original budget claimed by the BBC Scotland management team wasn’t met, the scale of the investment was met with massive relief by the workforce as it became clear the BBC top team had acknowledged the resource arguments of the BBC Nations and Regions, including Scotland.
The creation of 80 journalism posts in BBC Scotland along with the 20 created as part of the Local News initiative with Scottish newspapers is a dramatic boost in the arm for our industry. This also comes at at time when STV are expanding their news coverage and creating around 20 new posts with the development of a Scottish Seven O Clock news, starting in March this year.
Paul Holleran National organiser said: “It is great news, but we see this as the first step towards growing the investment in BBC Scotland and a move towards increasing the amount of spend north of the border in line with the money raised here through the licence fee.”
The union has already met with both managements and are engaged in discussing the staffing issues like recruitment and appointments and structure of the new newsrooms.