BBC radio journalists have staged a walk out in protest over proposed changes to regional stations.

Journalists from BBC Radio Sussex have been striking as local stations could be merged with less region-specific content for listeners.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) formed a picket line outside the BBC offices on Queen’s Road in Brighton in an effort to fight for the “community” that local radio provides.

Fiona McCarthy, deputy news editor at Radio Sussex and a representative for the NUJ, said: “We’re passionate about local news and about the sense of community that only local radio can bring.

“Local radio isn’t just about the news its about the community, the presenters become like your friends.


“Our main concern is that there will be a reduction in local services, we want to keep radio local.”

Under the proposed changes planned by the BBC in the summer, radio stations such as BBC Radio Sussex would provide less local content in favour of shared content between neighbouring regions.

The Argus: Striking journalistsStriking journalists (Image: The Argus)

For Sussex, this would mean that between 2pm and 6am in the morning, programmes would be shared with stations in Kent and London.

While Fiona says that there had been talks between the NUJ and the BBC, she added that the broadcaster was “refusing to change course”.

A spokesman for the BBC previously said: “Our local plans are about delivering an even better service to communities across England, reflecting how audiences use the BBC, strengthening our online provision and increasing the impact of our journalism.

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“We have consulted extensively with the NUJ over recent months and adapted our plans in response to feedback.

“We have assured teams working across our 39 BBC local bases that we will maintain overall investment and staffing levels in local services and we’ll work hard to minimise the risk of compulsory redundancies.”

The plans come as part of cost-saving measures, as the BBC previously said that due to a freeze in the licence fee and inflation it faces a £400 million funding gap by 2026/27 and must make savings.