Talk about Newsnight

A blog and forum.

Wednesday, 17 October, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 17 Oct 07, 06:37 PM

thompson103100.jpgThe BBC Trust has approved plans for big changes to the corporation.
It'll include substantial job losses and a cut in the number of programmes to be commissioned. The full details will be published tomorrow after staff have been told. We'll be speaking to the Chairman of the BBC Trust, Sir Michael Lyons.

Turkey has edged closer to launching a major cross border offensive against Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq -- whom they blame for terrorist atrocities within Turkey. President Bush has warned Turkey not to rush into action. We hope to be speaking to the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq about his concerns following these developments.

Even for the mighty Chinese Communist Party, citizens can really undermine the mission statement. The Party's holding its congress in Beijing this week with ringing edicts from President Hu Jintao about creating a harmonious society. What he means is that Chinese society is anything but harmonious. For 30 years, coastal China has been allowed to run ahead of the brooding hinterland of subsistence farmers. And now the divisions of wealth are alarming. White Horse Village is the China that is supposed to get help. When we started our series there 16 months ago, we were told the village would be transformed into a city within three years but the miracle has not worked completely in the village. Carrie Gracie reports on the third in our series on White Horse Village.

What's the future of the BBC?

  • Newsnight
  • 17 Oct 07, 11:17 AM

thompson203100.jpgOn Wednesday BBC director general Mark Thompson submits plans for the corporation's future to the governing body, the BBC Trust.

Staff will hear of his proposals on Thursday - but it is rumoured they will include up to 2,800 jobs cuts as Thompson attempts to deal with a £2bn budget shortfall caused by a smaller than hoped-for licence fee settlement.

BBC News and factual TV - which makes programmes such as Planet Earth - are expected to bear the brunt of the cuts. The corporation may even sell Television Centre, its landmark west London studio complex.

What do these changes mean for the future of the BBC? Has it become too big - does its influence across television, radio and online need to be curbed? Or is there a risk that more staff cuts, especially in news and documentaries, may damage the BBC's central purpose - public service broadcasting?

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