The Writers’ Guild and the Society of Authors have received a brush-off in response to protests about the cancellation of all BBC World Service radio drama.
Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC Global News, said in a letter (pdf) to the two unions: 'BBC World Service has to respond to the challenges of an increasingly tough financial climate and an increasingly competitive global media market. Primarily, audiences come to BBC World Service for news and information and analysis of major global issues.'
In March this year the post of Director of BBC World Service was abolished and the duties added to Horrocks’ s job description. Since then 'BBC World Service' has apparently been regarded as a brand name within the BBC Global News division.
Writers’ Guild General Secretary Bernie Corbett commented: 'Only a few years ago the BBC World Service offered a complete range of British arts, science, culture and entertainment. Today all that remains is a rolling news service – one among hundreds. Once Britain wanted to share with the world its language, its drama, its music, its comedy, its science. The most distinctive thing left is the pips.'