There are tentative signs that BBC North West Tonight might be improving coverage of the northern two- thirds of North West England- although one seasoned watcher of BBC North West Tonight will point out that there were similar “false dawns” in the past. Anyway, one should not be churlish!
This evening’s main BBC North West bulletin had two good news items covering Lancashire: Firstly, there was the continuing situation concerning Coronavirus in Blackburn, with authorities there now considering local lock-down measures if they don’t get the situation under control. Secondly, there was coverage of a tourism initiative on Lancashire’s Fylde Coast- where the initiative had an emphasis on encouraging disabled people to visit various sites of interest. There was also extensive coverage of Cumbria where fell-runner Sabrina Verjee completed all 214 “Wainwright Peaks” (so called after the 20th century Lake District mountaineer and author Alfred Wainwright) in little over six days. There was also fell-runner Kim Collison who ran and scaled 78 peaks in less than 24 hours- beating the previous record and this was covered too. With Lancashire and Cumbria getting three out of the eleven news- items covered this does look like improvement.
However, two items of news about Cumbria should should have made BBC North West Tonight over the last few days happened only just outside the transmission boundary and one of these involved a motor-cyclist who lived in Worsley, near Manchester. The motor-cyclist, a 72 year-old man died after his motorbike collided head-on with another vehicle on Saturday 11th July near the A683 junction on the A685 at Ravenstonedale, a village between Tebay and Kirkby Stephen in south-east Cumbria (details of the incident here: https://www.cumbriacrack.com/2020/07/12/biker-killed-in-ravenstonedale-collision/). The fact that it was a fatal road- accident, the fact that it involved the death of someone who lived in the south of the BBC North West transmission area and the fatal incident only happened a few miles north of the BBC North West transmission boundary (and witnesses to the collision could live in the north of the BBC North West transmission zone- who could be encouraged to contact Cumbria Police about the incident)- all demonstrate that space should have been found in BBC North West’s news- coverage to cover it.
The second item that should have been touched upon is the rise in Coronavirus cases in Carlisle in recent days. This I have touched upon in a recent post, pointing out that the City of Carlisle is within an hour’s drive (or train journey) of North Lancashire and South Cumbria- and thus it is a Public Health concern that people in the north of the BBC North West transmission area have not (and will not) be advised of Coronavirus in Carlisle- simply because it is beyond the transmission boundary: It could have been covered as an aside to the extensive coverage on the situation in Blackburn.
It all demonstrates that there is still a propensity by BBC North West not to cover northern Cumbria because it is beyond their “Patch”, even though this is still part of North West England and concerning quite serious events. This rigid policy does not make for good all- round news coverage for folk living in South Cumbria or northern Lancashire.