10th March 2018,
It’s the weekend! And guess what our television news broadcasters responsible for regional news in the North West of England have retreated into a Manchester and Liverpool sized hole. Their Lancashire and South Cumbria and Isle of Man briefs go home at weekends and (since they just maintain a core staff at the Media City Head Offices at Salford Quays this is not conducive to coverage of locations away from the metropolitan south of the North West.
Not only that, but regional bulletins are shortened to ten minutes or perhaps a little longer at weekends; rather unsurprisingly this squeezes out news from the less populated locations at the more distant northern edges of their transmission areas. Neither BBC North West, nor ITV Granada would ever report on a significant development in the north of Cumbria for the benefit of their viewers in the south of Cumbria or northern Lancashire who might be interested in such news at the weekend; they almost never do this during the week!
The poor folk of northern Cumbria, who get BBC Look North broadcast from Newcastle, have not been getting much news coverage after all those reports on snow in Cumbria last week- now the snow has gone and the sole news item concerning Cumbria seems to be the report about the Cottage Hospitals in Alston, Keswick and Wigton losing their beds (isn’t it nice to know that rural Cumbria is especially shat-upon by the Government?!). One news item amongst about twenty news items about the North East. Normally BBC Look North (North East/ Cumbria) do better than this and give northern Cumbria about three out of twenty news items about the county (including South Cumbria): But at the weekend, if you live in a rural county like Cumbria, you will be lucky to get a mention in the ten-minute weekend bulletins. It’s not as though Cumbrian viewers of BBC Look North get much solace from ITV Border at the weekend; it is at weekends that the short bulletins are likely to be mainly North East news due to it being a joint ITV Border-Tyne-Tees bulletins.
Now is the time for the BBC to come up with the resources to provide Lancashire, Cumbria and the Isle of Man with their own BBC North West Region- one that provides news covering the North West proper. Within this new BBC Region there should be opt-out news-coverage for northern Cumbria and the Isle of Man. If the BBC has, in recent years, had to make savings of £400 million annually and achieved it then it can find the £3 million tops needed annually to provide the good people of Lancashire, Cumbria and the Isle of Man their own Regional Television Programming along with the one-off £1 million for fitting new studios with equipment and tweaking transmitters to receive the new Regional Television Programming.
As for finding the money, they could look at the pay of some of their senior management and (anyway) the BBC will probably have the extra £3 million to play with because the TV License Fee is going up to £150.50 per annum from next month! That is a lot of money for most folk who live in the North West, viewers in the North West (and in Cumbria and Lancashire in particular) deserve something in return- their own local news coverage!
#BBC #NorthWestTonight #Cumbria #granadareports #northwesttonight #Lancashire #isleofman #SouthCumbria #Granada #itvborder #LocalNews