Britain faces a news blackout today as 10,000 staff strike at broadcast giant the BBC.

Flagship live current affair shows BREAKFAST, NEWSNIGHT and radio programme TODAY have been replaced by pre-recorded programmes and news bulletins will be reduced to just basic coverage of news on a national and regional level, including the BBC's WORLD SERVICE.

BBC NEWS 24 - a digital channel - has replaced rolling news with just hourly bulletins.

Staff are protesting new Director General Mark Thompson's decision to cut 3,780 jobs at the corporation - and four days of strikes began last night (22MAY05), called by the NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS, broadcast union BECTU, and technical union AMICUS.

Thompson claims the job cuts are necessary if the corporation is to maintain its royal charter, which is up for renewal next year (06).

The BBC is uniquely funded by $4.4 billion (GBP2.3 billion) a year it receives from licence fees payable by all UK households with a television.

23/05/2005 13:52