If you thought BBC North West Tonight was covering Cumbria a bit more regularly- and it certainly began to seem that way- then another week without any Cumbrian news- coverage on the BBC’s flagship main news-bulletin for North West England comes along to squash any hopes that South Cumbrian and North Lancastrian viewers might have had. Lancashire is actually getting quite a bit of coverage as a result of rising cases of Coronavirus in Blackburn, the Pendle area and (tonight) Rochdale was under the spotlight because of a jump in cases of the novel coronavirus in the town. It is good that Lancashire is being covered better, but the northern half of the geographical North West has (for the last few days) had absolutely no coverage on a Regional News-programme whose name suggests it covers the North West of England completely.
Meanwhile BBC Look North (North East/ Cumbria) has covered the fact that two men were arrested for the suspected murder of a woman at Cleator Moor, in West Cumbria. And another man, who lived at Salterbeck near Workington, was sent to prison for repeated sexual offences against a 14- year old girl. Both (arguably) serious news- matters, both less than 25 miles just north of the BBC North West “Patch” but both very much “North West” matters since Cleator Moor and Salterbeck (near Workington) are actually further west than Liverpool and Blackpool. And Cumbrian viewers of BBC North West Tonight, particularly those around Millom, should be informed of such developments since it is highly likely that some people would know the victims- and because sexual predators and murderers travel about- the South Cumbrian public have a right to know if there are dangerous people around not so far away.
The BBC Programmers for North West Tonight (ditto ITV Granada Reports) must make space in their nightly bulletins for serious or significant happenings in Cumbria: This needs to happen not just once in a while but there should be one or two items about Cumbria every day- even if the news is just outside the transmission area because communities don’t have hard borders like the BBC in the North West and ITV Granada do.