North West Regional News retreats into a Greater Manchester-sized Hole at weekends!

4th March 2018,

Dear Readers,

Viewers of this site will be aware that regional television news coverage in the North West effectively excludes three-quarters of North West England from news-coverage at times; Cumbria and Lancashire are covered poorly at the best of times.

At the weekend, even the little coverage that Cumbria and northern Lancashire get during the week seems to dissappear. The news coverage seems then to come entirely from Manchester and locations on the banks of the River Mersey from the Pennines to the coast.

Regional Television gets less spent per person in the North West than elsewhere by either ITV or the BBC. The spend at weekends drops even further. The sub-regional reporting bases shut down and only the urban centre at Media City on Salford Quays remains in operation. This means that the short bulletins become even more Greater Manchester-centric, with some Merseyside tagged on. Since regional television almost shuts down anyway and the bulletins only have about four or five news-items it means viewers of either BBC North West news or ITV Granada news who live in South Cumbria, northern Lancashire and the Isle of Man stand next to no chance of hearing about anything local. If anything serious happened in northern Cumbria the North West Television news definitely won’t report on it for the benefit of their South Cumbrian viewers at the weekend. They virtually never do during the week as northern Cumbria is beyond their “Patch”!

One quite understands news-casters and reporters need their days off; however it would be good for both ITV and the BBC putting more resources into providing more weekend reporters for more northerly parts of the North West of England.

For viewers in northern Cumbria the situation is just as bad since the BBC North East/ Cumbria Region also retreats into an urban North East-shaped hole and only covers Tyne and Wear along with Middlesbrough. Carlisle might get a mention if one is lucky. Again, this is truly shocking for folk living in rural North and West Cumbria- they may as well not even bother trying to get local news from BBC Look North at such times. This can only reinforce the perception, certainly in West Cumbria, that they are in the wrong BBC Region!

Even ITV Border, which normally gives Cumbrian viewers a respite from irrelevant “local” news, loses its local flavour at weekends thanks to its tie-up with ITV Tyne-Tees: Mainly North-East news is provided through  joint ITV Border-Tyne-Tees bulletins at the weekend. Prior to 2009 this never used to happen.

The time has come for the BBC to find the resources to create a new BBC North West Region just covering Cumbria, Lancashire and the Isle of Man. This would bring the situation of largely-irrelevant city news coverage at weekends for Cumbria and northern Lancashire to an end.

However, nothing will happen unless enough people complain to the BBC about regional news coverage in the area.

Ian Pennell

#BBCNWT #ITVGranada #weekend

#weekends #NWEngland #NorthWest  #Cumbria #Lancashire #GreaterManchester #ITVBorder #local





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