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BBC Asian Network safe for now

The BBC will not close the digital radio station, but will cut its budget by half.

The Asian Network, which is the most expensive of BBC's digital stations, costing around £8.9m last year, will not be closed as was originally intended. Instead it could face half its budget cut as the BBC attempts to make savings of £400m imposed by the coalition government.

The BBC's U-turn also comes as listening numbers peaked at 477 000 by the end of last year, and a decision by BBC executives that a national station was the best way to reach the Asian audience rather than a collection of local medium-wave stations.

The decision to keep the station will still need to approved by the BBC Trust later this year.

Liam McLaughlin is a freelance journalist who has also written for Prospect and the Huffington Post. He tweets irregularly @LiamMc108.

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We're hiring! Join the New Statesman as an editorial assistant

The NS is looking for a new recruit.

The New Statesman is hiring an editorial assistant, who will work across the website and magazine to help the office run smoothly. The ideal candidate will have excellent language skills, a passion for journalism, and the ability to work quickly and confidently under pressure.

The job is a broad one – you will need to understand the requirements of both halves of the magazine (politics and culture) as well as having an interest in the technical requirements of magazine and website production. Experience with podcasts and social media would be helpful.

The right person will have omnivorous reading habits and the ability to assimilate new topics at speed. You will be expected to help out with administration tasks around the office, so you must be willing to take direction and get involved with unglamorous tasks. There will be opportunities to write, but this will not form the main part of the job. (Our current editorial assistant is now moving on to a writing post.)

This is a full-time paid job, which would suit a recent graduate or someone who is looking for an entry into journalism. On the job training and help with career development will be offered.

Please apply with an email to Stephen Bush (Stephen. Bush @ with the subject line ‘Editorial Assistant application’.  

In your covering letter, please include a 300-word analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the New Statesman. Please also include 500 words on what you consider to be the most interesting trend in British politics, and your CV as a Word document. 

The deadline for applications is noon on Monday 12th October.