Neither of the flagship Regional News programmes for North West England have produced any real coverage of the county of Cumbria during the last week. This is despite features covering Cumbria on BBC Look North including- today- a young child needing to be rescued from the sea off the coast of West Cumbria. This is, of course, outside the transmission areas of the North West Regional programme- producers- but it (again) illustrates the poverty in coverage for viewers who live in the northern half of North West England who nonetheless just live a bit too far south to get ITV Border.
As I have re-iterated on this site several times, it is unacceptable for people who live in Ulverston, Kirkby Lonsdale, Silecroft, Millom (in Cumbria) and Carnforth (North Lancashire) not to get any news about their localities, or significant news about areas of North West England not more than 25 miles (or half an hour’s drive) to the north of them. Furthermore, Proud Northerners should not have to contend with 80% of coverage of areas over an hour’s drive to the south of them (in places they would scarcely consider to be “Northern” in any way) and it would be of great benefit to such viewers to have their Northernness affirmed by getting more news from a higher latitude (i.e. further north as well as more local to them).
It is high-time that the North West Regional programme- producers were made aware that, for at least one million people who live in Cumbria and the northern half of Lancashire that the heavily Greater Manchester/ Liverpool/ Cheshire-related output and the often-prolonged absences of Cumbrian output is not acceptable. In the first instance one should email North West Tonight at: firstname.lastname@example.org and ITV Granada at: email@example.com.
If one does not get a promise to cover the northern North West, and a recognition that North West England includes Cumbria right up to the Scottish Border in replies from Regional Television programmers one can contact the Head of Programming directly: Michelle Mayman is the Head of Online and Television News for North West England and her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Failing that, there are the Government organisations that oversee the BBC and ITV: Both the BBC and ITV’s conduct (and their production of content relevant to all viewers) is overseen by the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport which can be emailed at: email@example.com. However, it is better to write a letter to The Right Hon. Sir Oliver Dowden, MP; Secretary of State for the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport at :Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport, 100 Parliament Street, LONDON. SW1A 2BQ. E-mails get put into Spam boxes and intercepted by Secretaries but (as not so many people write actual letters nowadays) a letter sent in the post, marked FAO THE RIGHT HON SIR OLIVER DOWDEN and URGENT has a much higher chance of being seen by the intended recipient.
Alternatively, your local MP is worth writing to. The Right Hon. Tim Farron is the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, and includes places like Grange over Sands, Cartmel and Kirkby Lonsdale where the only choices are ITV Granada or BBC North West. If you live in Carnforth or Morecambe The Right Hon. Sir David Morris is your MP whilst the poor folk of Millom, who live in the south of the Copeland Constituency of West Cumbria- and who also only have a choice between ITV Granada and BBC North West Tonight have all the more reason to complain to their MP, the Right Hon. Lady Trudy Harrison (I am sure she would be delighted to know her re-election was completely omitted from both BBC North West’s and ITV Granada’s coverage- despite 10,000 people who live in her Constituency having to watch one of these Programs if they wanted to watch the local results!!) . Write to- rather than email- your MP at: House of Commons, LONDON. SW1A 0AA. You can write to your MP, whoever represents your Constituency, at that address.
And, if you are feeling really aggravated by the lack of coverage of your county on either BBC North West Tonight or Granada Reports you could also write a letter to the Prime Minister (or a couple to increase your chance of it being read by him): Boris Johnson himself would, I am sure, be interested to know about the North West Regional programmers not covering all of the North West of England. Since Boris Johnson wants to “Level up” the North, he could be encouraged to ensure (thus) that Lancashire and Cumbria get the same level of coverage as (say) Devon and Cornwall (which has it’s own BBC Region) or Norfolk/ Suffolk (which have their own BBC and ITV Region but a similar population to Lancashire and Cumbria). Feel free to write to the Prime Minister at:
The Right Honourable Sir Boris Johnson, MP
Prime Minister and Minister for the Union
10, Downing Street