I would like to take this opportunity to remind anyone who visits this Website who lives either in the northern two- thirds of North West England, the Isle of Man or indeed Northumberland to share their views on the BBC and ITV Regional Television where they live: Is the Local News where you live really “Local” or even half- “Local”. What can be done to improve Regional Television where you are?
If you live in Lancashire or South Cumbria are you happy with both BBC North West Tonight and ITV Granada Reports offering 80%-plus Manchester/ Merseyside/ Cheshire output, little coverage of Lancashire and South Cumbria and none of northern Cumbria (which is still part of North West England geographically). If you live on the Isle of Man are you happy to have 95% coverage of mainland (southern) North West England both with BBC North West and ITV Granada- without any real local alternative?
If you live in North or West Cumbria you will have ITV Border, which is arguably excellent (but maybe you think there’s too much coverage of southern Scotland). Do you like BBC Look North with 85% coverage of North East England or would you a) Want much more Cumbrian coverage and b) have other Regional news mainly about Lancashire (not Manchester/ Merseyside) and the Scottish borders, but not North East England? Do share your views.
Finally, if you live in Northumberland, do you think BBC Look North and ITV Tyne Tees covers too little of your county and far too focused on Tyneside, Wearside, Teesside and parts of North Yorkshire (and, in the case of BBC Look North, Cumbrian news)? Do you think overlap coverage into southern Scotland would provide better all-round coverage of areas you want to hear about if you live in northern Northumberland.
What do you think of the That’s (Cumbria/ Lancashire) TV available on Channel 8 (Freeview). Do you think these very local TV stations will ever get off the ground to provide an alternative to BBC North West Tonight, ITV Granada, BBC Look North (North East/ Cumbria), ITV Border and ITV Tyne Tees. Share your views here: https://northwestisnorthwest.org/contact/
Published by northwestisnorthwest
My name is Ian Pennell and I am a freelance Book-keeper: I live near Alston, in the North Pennines in north-east Cumbria. I have friends who live in northern North West England - near Lancaster (which is where I went to University and used to live until 17 years ago) and in other parts of Cumbria. I have two Website Campaigns that seek to promote more localised Regional TV coverage for large rural areas across the North of North West England and North East England. .
A big problem is that the Regional Television Bulletins for the North West covers the southern third of the Region about 90% (plus a part of Derbyshire which is NOT the North West of England), covers the middle third of North West England poorly and covers the northern third of North West England not at all! When I was studying at Lancaster University, I used to watch BBC1 North West Tonight because it covered areas up around where I was brought up- in northern Cumbria as well as more immediately locally around Lancaster. Then I came home one day, turned on BBC1 North West Tonight wondering why they were silent on Cumbria and discovered why: Most of Cumbria had been chopped off the weather-map! .
People living in the westernmost part of North West England (around St. Bees Head) have local BBC news on their televisions which is 90% about North East England!
In rural and northern Northumberland too, Regional TV, as is received by viewers, tends too often to be Tyneside/ Wearside/ Teesside- focussed with little news locally. Communities in North Northumberland have strong links across the Border into south-east Scotland and towards Edinburgh but none of the Regional TV News- services serving Northumberland today ever goes across the Scottish Border for significant happenings of interest to North Northumbrians. I have also done walking in the area, including around the Cheviots in the past- and the Northumberland/ Scottish Borders/ East and Mid Lothian area is vast- but it is largely overlooked by mainstream Regional TV! .
North Yorkshire, the largest county in England also falls in the gaps between coverage from BBC Look North (NE/ Cumbria) or ITV1 News Tyne Tees in the north of the county, and the Leeds-based BBC1 and ITV1 Regional TV- services in the south of the county: North Yorkshire is a huge, yet beautiful county, which I have visited and explored in the past, yet is poorly covered in Regional TV. .
Based near Alston, near the Cumbria/ Northumberland boundary I am well-placed to discuss Regional TV in all these large rural areas, in which collectively some two million folk live, yet they are poorly covered by the Regional TV News- services set up to serve them. These huge areas are an hour to two hours' drive from where I live: North Lancashire and South/ West Cumbria are to the south-west, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders and Lothian are to the north and north-east, and North Yorkshire is to the south-east of my home near Alston. I am well-placed to draw attention to deficiencies in Regional TV coverage for folk in all these areas. The North Pennines, where I live, is arguably another large area that touches on the other three where Regional TV coverage falls through the gaps completely (and that is despite the North Pennines running north to south down the middle of the BBC1 NE/ Cumbria Region). .
In two websites, one for northern North West England and the Isle of Man (a country in it's own right that does not have it's own TV service!), and another Website focussing on Northumberland, North Yorkshire and the North Pennines I make the point that Regional TV that informs viewers of important things in their local area is a Public Service, funding for which should be given a higher priority (and if necessary via statute through the BBC's Charter), than funding for Soaps, Films or Sport- which are for leisure. I also give viewers the tools to fight effectively for better- and more geographic-appropriate Regional TV where they live- and to seek it through alternative (often little-known) local TV services, some of which may only be available on the Internet.
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