ISLAMABAD: BBC Urdu Service has reportedly sacked 10 reporters out of 14 across Pakistan in an attempt “to save 180,000 pounds during the next year”, a report published in Journalism Pakistan said.
The Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists condemning the incident, urging BBC’s top management to intervene.
“The decision is arbitrary, unrealistic, unjustified and unwarranted,” RIUJ President Waqar Satti said in a statement.
“The management’s argument does not make sense because the service has set up a huge hierarchy of managers that claims a major share of the salary budget and none of them are being retrenched,” he said.
“We have also noted that a significant amount of money is being used for undue promotions of cronies and favorites, and the retrenchment appears to be aimed at making room for the kith and kin of the managers rather than saving costs.”
“The decision means financial murder of reporters who have a major role in making BBC one of the most credible news sources in Pakistan.
“The BBC reporters in Pakistan have been working under constant stress for several years due to an unusual increase in their workload and have at times risked their lives while performing their duties, or received threats for the kind of stories they were doing,” he said.
“Instead of addressing their legitimate concerns about their security, they are being constantly bullied and harassed by the top management, negating their own commitment about respect at the work place.”
The union president said, “We stand by reporters of BBC Pakistan and ensure them all out support.”