Desktop editing by producers is seen as a useful way to drive down production costs, and the BBC recently announced plans to begin using Final Cut Pro in its factual department.
However, during a session on contemporary factual commissioning at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, producers voiced their concerns over having to cut and edit as well as produce programming.
Jane Treays, producer of the ITV1 documentary The Man With The Seven Second Memory said: "I simply could not do my job if I had to cut and edit it myself. There's a time bomb ticking with the amount of hours we work day in, day out, in a world of increasingly decreasing budgets."
Channel 4 head of documentaries Danny Cohen also voiced concerns. "You lose the editor, and editors are a really important part of making documentaries good," he said. "They're more important often than the director at that stage."
The BBC's commissioning editor for features and factual entertainment, Elaine Bedell said that the corporation does not expect people to break EU regulations but added: "as part of the value for money programme across the BBC I'm given targets of cost per hour which you have to achieve. So it's challenging for all of us."