The BBC’s World Service, which is set to face 650 jobs cut over four years, may have earned itself some reprieve after director Peter Horrocks praised the “fantastic job” journalists had done in reporting the Arabic uprisings.
Speaking to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Horrocks claimed the dedicated work meant “we may be able to alter some of these job losses” in the Arabic station of the World Service. Up to 60 jobs have been penciled in to go.
Lessening the blow of redundancies will be dependent on whether the World Service can secure funding from outside organisations to make up for the shortfall caused by government funding being ceased.
Horrocks also stood by his expectation that the cuts will cost the service 30 million users globally. “These 30 million people are 30 million regrets, but we have to make the books add up,” he said.
He also revealed that World Service management are working on assurances from foreign secretary William Hague for foreign journalists who may be at risk of being repatriated to dangerous countries if they lose their jobs.
Photo by Flickr user ell brown, licensed under Creative Commons.