The North West of England Proper: Perspectives on Regional Television output.

19th May 2018

Dear Readers,

Apologies for the absence of output over recent days, as I have been busy with domestic  commitments.  However, this will be rectified and there will be some more regular posts about BBC and ITV Regional Television in the North West of England in coming days!

Today I aim to concentrate on how regional out put must go down in what viewers in Cumbria and the northern half of Lancashire must consider to be the North West proper- that is those parts with the Irish Sea rather than Wales to the west and which it is very clear that they are not in the Midlands in any way shape or form.

Viewers of Regional Television in Kendal or Carnforth will have a different perspective of what NorthWest England is than viewers in Macclesfield or Malpas:  The viewers in Kendal and Carnforth would consider full coverage of the entire NorthWest Region to extend right up to the Scottish Border, north of Carlisle whilst Cheshire viewers would consider coverage as far north as the South Lakes and Barrow to be more than adequate- but they would expect that coverage to include northern Staffordshire and Shropshire and north-east Wales because they would consider such locations as “North West”- even though north-east Wales is clearly not part of NorthWest England. On the flip side of that viewers of NorthWest Regional Television in Cumbria or northern Lancashire could be quite annoyed that their regional news covers any part of Wales or Staffordshire whilst giving little coverage of Cumbria or northern Lancashire.

For viewers of NorthWest Regional Television in South Cumbria, the NorthWest of England includes all of their county of Cumbria right up to the Scottish border but they really would not count Cheshire and certainly not northern Derbyshire (which is covered in BBC NorthWest and ITV Granada output) to be part of the NorthWest. Many Cumbrians infact consider Manchester to be in the Midlands!

It is vital that both the BBC and ITV Granada provide a regional news service tailored to their viewers in all parts of their transmission area. If this requires further efficiencies from both organisations to make monies available for opt-out or indeed seperate regional programming for their more northerly viewers to achieve the aim of making regional output relevant and fitting for all their viewers, so be it.

The Isle of Man, by the way, is a separate nation state in its own right. It deserves and needs its own opt-out programming out from the main BBC NorthWest and ITV Granada output.

Ian Pennell


#NorthWest #Kendal #Cumbria #NorthLancs #Lancashire #Cheshire #NorthWestTonight #GranadaReports #BBC #ITV #RegionalTV #RegionalTelevision

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