Blood-bath at the Beeb

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


These are dark days for the BBC. Yesterday more than 2,000 staffers in production and broadcasting (meaning news, sport, and drama) heard they’re getting the boot. This comes on top of 1,700 business-side layoffs announced a couple of weeks ago. By the time Mark Thompson, the newish director general (the last one, you’ll remember, quit over that dodgy WMD story) gets done swinging the meat axe, the BBC will be about 6,000 people lighter.

No doubt there’s a lot of fat to trim at the Beeb, which, while indispensable on so many counts, is a big, unwieldy bureaucracy — and one, moreover, that subsists on taxpayer money. If Thompson is as good as his word and the money saved will go into new and better programming, all to the good. But we’ll see.

Then again, lately the BBC is finding it can’t even spend the money it wants to spend. Ricky Gervais, the man behind “The Office” (the best, and most painful, thing to come out of the BBC in years) just turned down a $10 million deal with the corporation, saying, sublimely, that such arrangements encourage “laziness and extravagance” and that, anyway, he didn’t want to be the BBC’s “bitch.”

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate