The Cost Of BBC Cuts: Less Objective Foreign Reporting, Reporters Say

BBC News is cutting up to 700 jobs in order to save millions of pounds of taxpayer money.

Part of the cuts involve cutting 44 foreign correspondents and replacing about half of them with local reporters—natives of the countries the BBC wants to report on.

The Guardian reports, however, that this may pose some unforeseen challenges: “Nobody questions the value of having locally-recruited journalists,” a former BBC insider said. “But if you are a Tunisian citizen with a Tunisian passport it is extraordinarily easy for the government to put you under pressure not to reveal truth and expose wrongdoing because your family live there. Some governments want nothing more than to bully the BBC and there are serious concerns that this makes the BBC’s ability to offer impartial news more vulnerable.”

” Just exactly what every nasty government hoping to bully the BBC needs,” a current foreign correspondent said.

Big grains of salt here: the folks criticizing this are, by and large, the ones who stand to lose their jobs if the scheme goes through. Other grain of salt: none of these planned changes will take place until 2014.