View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

Snoozenight: Sun front page highlights pictures of journalists sleeping on the job in main BBC newsroom

By Dominic Ponsford

The Sun today published multiple pictures of sleeping journalists in the main BBC New Broadcasting House newsroom as an MP said: “It’s extraordinary licence fee payers are paying for people to have a nice kip at work.”

The pictures were taken by a BBC insider and supplied to The Sun via agency SWNS. The source told the paper that during a 12-hour night shift some staff do around an hour of work.

They said: “You can look around and there are three or four people in a row with their feet up and soundly asleep.”

The pictures were taken over a period of four years and include one member of staff with an eye-mask on and another with a flat cap draped over his eyes (full story here).

All ten sleeping night-shifters pictured by The Sun are men.

The source said: “There are far too many managers so once they have delegated, there isn’t anything for them to do — so they go to sleep or watch Netflix.”

They added: “We get an hour and a half break but some people take the piss.”

Content from our partners
<a></a>Key ways to futureproof your media career as journalism job cuts bite deep
Slow online ads cost UK publishers £50m a year: Here's how to fix them
Mather Economics and InsurAds combine to help publishers boost revenue

Conservative MP Peter Bone told The Sun: “Someone at the BBC must get to grips with this.”

BBC News employs around 8,000 people, including 5,500 journalists. The BBC has an annual budget of £4.9bn a year, of which £3.7bn comes from taxpayers via the licence fee.

A BBC spokesperson said: “This is a misleading story about people working a long night shift. When they take a break, whether they walk around the block, go for a cup of tea or just simply rest, that’s surely up to them. The BBC is hugely grateful to its journalists who work through the night to make sure the country has the best possible news service when it wakes up in the morning.”

Topics in this article : ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network