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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

The Chartered Institute of Journalists condemns the BBC’s decision to abolish specialist radio reporters

Press Release
Release date: 14 September 2020

The Chartered Institute of Journalists calls on the BBC to reverse a decision to abolish specialist radio reporters.

The BBC plans to axe all its national radio reporters and ask them to reapply for a smaller number of jobs as television, radio and digital reporters, rather than as dedicated audio journalists.

Institute President, Professor Tim Crook, who had been Head of Radio at Goldsmiths, University of London for 30 years said: “This is retrograde step, erasing and trashing the BBC’s great heritage in founding radio journalism and failing to appreciate that radio as a medium is never displaced and reduced by other media.”

The Institute is the world’s longest established professional association of journalists and argues that radio/sound reporting is a vital specialist form in journalism, and it would be a great mistake to dilute this national and vital asset into general multimedia journalists.

Professor Crook authored International Radio Journalism, published by Routledge in 1997, and says “The radio and sound medium connects with the imagination and emotional intelligence of listeners in ways that strengthen and empower so many qualities in BBC journalism and broadcasting.

“We strongly urge the Corporation to preserve and, indeed, expand its cadre of specialist national radio and sound correspondents.”