Where to go if you get Nowhere complaining to BBC NorthWest or ITV Granada about news-coverage.

15th March 2018,

Dear Readers,

In the event that complaints about Regional Television News coverage in the NorthWest of England, when you write to the Head of Programming for either BBC NorthWest Tonight or ITV Granada prove fruitless there is further recourse. Many of you will know this is a Site that highlights the lack of resources and coverage given to #Lancashire, #Cumbria and the #IsleofMan in NorthWest Regional Television Programming. Also pointed out in recent posts is the absurdity of West #Cumbria getting #RegionalNews from BBC Look North that is eighty percent or more about the #NorthEast of England! BBC Regional Television, in particular serves Cumbria, Lancashire and the Isle of Man poorly these areas are part of the much bigger BBC NorthWest Region (in the case of northern Cumbria part of a large BBC NorthEast (including much of North Yorkshire) and northern Cumbria Region. Small wonder that the entire area is served poorly.

Viewers in much of Cumbria can get respite from non-local #LocalNews from #ItvBorder that covers Cumbria very well (the small drawback being regional news having NorthEast content at #breakfast time and #weekends due to ItvBorder’s tie-up with ITV Tyne-Tees; this is unsuitable for viewers in South and West #Cumbria which are clearly part of NorthWest England. A little further south #viewers of #RegionalNews have to put up with #ITVGranada which arguably covers South #Cumbria and northern #Lancashire even worse than does BBC NorthWest. It is these viewers in South Cumbria and northern Lancashire who really have cause to #complain because they can get no respite from rubbish coverage of their area and locations a bit further north on NorthWest Regional Television News!

If you write to BBC NorthWest or ITV Granada (as I have done several times over the years) you get told that because Cumbria and northern Lancashire have a small population compared to Manchester, Liverpool and Cheshire you have to lump it, and no you can’t have opt-outs as they cost too much! I know for a fact that is rubbish since the BBC had to make annual savings of £400 million upwards over the last ten years upon instruction from the #Conservative #LibDem #CoalitionGovernment. A very tiny fraction of that money would fund a new #BBCNorthWest Regional News Provider serving just Cumbria, Lancashire and the Isle of Man. Yet nothing will change without a volley of complaints to the BBC in the North West and probably also pressure from OFCOM and local Members of Parliament.

There is further recourse, as I have said, if one does not succeed in getting changes promised and implemented by Regional Television News- Providers in the NorthWest. You can write to your local Member of Parliament, the address of whom will be:

House of Commons, London. SW1A 0AA.

The other recourse is to write to the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport who is:

The Right Hon. Matthew Hancock, MP,
Department of Culture Media and Sport
100, Parliament Street;
Westminster;
LONDON.
SW1A 2BQ.

His Email address is:hancock.mp@parliament.uk

You can also write to the Director-General of the BBC to complain about local news coverage on BBC NorthWest Tonight: He is called Tony Hall and his details are:

Mr Tony Hall,
Director General of the BBC,
BBC Broadcasting House;
Portland Place,
LONDON. W1A 1AA

Email: tony.hall@bbc.co.uk

To complain about news-coverage on ITV #GranadaReports you can write to the Head of ITV who is Carolyn McCall:

Carolyn McCall,
Chief Executive Officer of ITV;
The London Television Centre,
Upper Ground,
LONDON.
SE1 9LT

Finally you can complain to OFCOM, which over-sees television broadcasts, whether anything is offensive or, in the case of Regional Television News, whether this provides an adequate service for an area. It helps to know that OFCOM actually required ITV Tyne-Tees Border to produce specialised opt-out programming for viewers of ITV Border in Southern Scotland, which has a population of under 400,000. Lancashire, South Cumbria and the Isle of Man have a population of almost two million people and are also spread out over a sizeable area. The BBC also provides the folk of East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, with a similar population, their own BBCRegion with news tailored to East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Under pressure from OFCOM, both the BBC and ITV are going to find it hard to argue that Lancashire, South Cumbria and the Isle of Man should not have their own Regional Television News when Southern Scotland and East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire do. To write to #OFCOM about regional television in your area the details are:

Ofcom Complaints,
PO BOX 1285
WARRINGTON.
WA1 9GL

Or you can contact OFCOM’s Head Office at:

Head Office, OFCOM,
Riverside House,
2A Southwark Bridge Road,
LONDON.
SE1 9HA.

OFCOM also have an Online Complaints Form you can fill in at:

https://ofcomforms. secure.force.com

The more people in South #Cumbria and northern #Lancashire put pen to paper and get e-mailing  the sooner we will start to get better representation with proper news #coverage of #Lancashire and all #Cumbria and the #IsleofMan on #NorthWest #Regional #Bulletins.

Ian Pennell

 

 

 

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