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Bbc Journalists Announce Strike

August 02, 1985| From United Press-International

LONDON — British Broadcasting Corp. journalists Thursday announced a strike to protest the cancellation of a program featuring a leading supporter of the outlawed Irish Republican Army.

The journalists voted to hold a 24-hour strike Wednesday, when a documentary featuring Martin McGuinness, a man widely alleged to be the chief of staff of the outlawed organization, was to have been screened.

The BBC board of governors canceled the program after strong condemnation from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Home Secretary Leon Brittan.

The main journalists union decided to strike "because we believe the editorial independence of the BBC is threatened," according to reporter Vincent Hanna.

The BBC is financed by a license fee levied on television users by Parliament but operates under a royal charter that leaves it independent of government control.

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