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BBC News is the department of the BBC responsible for the gathering and broadcasting of news and current affairs. The department is the world's largest broadcast news organisation and generates about 120 hours of radio and television output each day, as well as online news coverage. The service maintains 44 foreign news bureaux and has correspondents in almost all the world's 240 countries. Since 2004 the Director of BBC News has been Helen Boaden.
The department's annual budget is £350 million; there are 3,500 members of staff, 2,000 of whom are journalists. Through the BBC English Regions BBC News has regional centres across England as well as national news centres in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. All regions and nations produce their own local news programmes and other current affairs and sport programmes.
Radio and television operations are broadcast from BBC Television Centre in West London though are set to move to brand new facilities in the newly extended and refurbished Broadcasting House in Central London in 2012. Television Centre houses all domestic, global and online news divisions within one main newsroom. Parliamentary coverage is produced and broadcast from studios in Millbank in London.
Criticism of the BBC in the United Kingdom has generally taken the form of accusations of political bias from across the political spectrum, although the BBC is a quasi-autonomous corporation authorised by Royal Charter, making it formally independent of government. Internationally the BBC has been banned from reporting from within some countries who accuse the corporation of working to destabilise their Governments.
In 2005 BBC News celebrated 50 years of news broadcasts. BBC News journalists, cameramen and programmes have won awards over the year for reporting, particularly from the Royal Television Society.
The BBC founded the BBC College of Journalism in 2005 as a part of the BBC Academy, following recommendations made after the Hutton Report.