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BBC News commits to digital investment amid loss of 220 jobs

Caroline Baldwin

BBC News has announced a restructure that will see the corporation invest more in digital transformation and original journalism.

As part of the restructure, the BBC has also announced plans to save £48m per year by 2016/2017. The savings programme also plans to find £12 million to invest in digital platforms in the UK.

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To meet these cost savings, the corporation has announced plans to create 195 new roles as it invests in digital, but it will expect to close 415 posts, creating a net loss of 220 jobs.

James Harding, BBC director of news and current affairs, said: “We are also living through a period of extraordinary change in news media. BBC News led the way first in radio, then in television and then online. Now, digital technologies offer us the opportunity to lead a fourth revolution in news.”

Harding said the digital transformation of news would be the last big set of changes the BBC will make during this licence fee period, where the broadcaster is required to freeze licence fees while taking on millions of pounds of extra obligations.

“Our ambition is to see the BBC deliver news to all audiences on all devices, to see the BBC exploit new technologies in the ways we get stories and the way we tell them, to ensure the BBC keeps on renewing its reputation as the most innovative and most respected force in news in the world," said Harding.

"So, we are also going to set out today plans for substantial investments in digital journalism and a significant restructuring of a large part of BBC News.”

The BBC plans to invest £4m to strengthen in social and mobile news, as well as data journalism, online analysis and an enhanced News Labs team. Within the BBC World Service, it intends to invest £13m in digital journalism and the development of further language TV services, over the next three years.

The BBC has recently appointed Matthew Postgate as its chief technology officer (CTO).

Postgate will be responsible for delivering the BBC’s technology strategy, including the delivery and management of broadcast and enterprise technology infrastructure, as well as the broadcaster’s IT requirements.

Postgate's appointment filled the role of the former CTO, John Linwood, who was sacked from the position in 2013 over the failed £100m Digital Media Initiative (DMI). The initiative was intended to link digital production tools with a central, digital archive for BBC staff to access throughout the production process.


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