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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
BBC protests over proposed cuts
The newsroom at BBC Television Centre
Budget cuts are being proposed at the BBC
Leading journalists from BBC News have expressed their "dismay" in an open letter protesting against proposed budget cuts at the corporation.

Today programme presenter James Naughtie and Newsnight's Gavin Esler are among almost 100 staff who have put their names to the protest.

The letter is addressed to BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons, according to the MediaGuardian website.

The BBC must make annual cuts of 3% to fill a 2 billion funding shortfall.

The letter says: "We, the undersigned, all work for BBC News and want to express our dismay at the budget cuts that are being proposed by management.

'Safeguard and reject'

"We believe the cuts as outlined would make it impossible for us to maintain the editorial standards for which BBC News is famous.

"BBC News is considered by the public to be the most important service the corporation provides. We urge you to safeguard it and reject these proposals."

The Trust is scheduled to make final decisions about the BBC's six-year strategic investment plan next month, which will set out how the BBC will spend the licence fee.

A Trust spokesman said: "The Chairman has repeatedly made clear that the Trust's objective is an efficient BBC delivering quality and distinctive programming which the public values and which the BBC does well."

A BBC spokesman said: "The final decisions about the BBC's plans for the next six years will be taken by the Trust.

"The proposals they are considering are designed to strengthen BBC News in the long term and preserve the quality of our journalism, as well as meeting the financial challenges the BBC faces."

SEE ALSO
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24 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
BBC Three 'safe' in budget cuts
26 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Paxman voices concerns over BBC
25 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
New BBC chairman pledges quality
05 Apr 07 |  Entertainment

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