13th December 2020
Updated 1st June 2021
Viewers in North West England who live anywhere north of Preston should realise that when it comes to Regional News, ITV Granada≠ ITV North West England and that Granada≠ North West. A look through ITV Granada Reports’ Twitter feed (going back through the last 100 posts and you see no mention of Cumbria at all), that ought to be enough to convince any Cumbrian and North Lancastrian that ITV Granada just does not cover their area and is Not For Them! Viewers on the Isle of Man will also be hard- pressed to find anything about their semi- autonomous little nation.
BBC North West Tonight should, to any sane viewer in Lancashire and South Cumbria, be the more obvious choice for viewers who live anywhere north of a line running from Southport to Rochdale. BBC North West Tonight at least covers Lancashire extensively, and there will be news about Cumbria on most, if not all, the main evening bulletins on week-days. Whether the loss of their Lancashire and South Cumbria reporter- Peter Marshall- will detrimentally impact on the amount of North-of-Wigan coverage remains to be seen; however from an objective view-point there has been some improvement of coverage of the northern North West of England in the last few years. One of BBC North West’s weekend news- presenters lives in Preston, he is called Steven Saul and there is usually plenty of coverage of Lancashire and often something about Cumbria when he is presenting the news (even during the five-minute Saturday evening Regional bulletin).
ITV Granada Reports programmers should, therefore, come clean and realise it is too dependent on very large numbers of viewers to bring in the advertising revenue to make it’s operation more profitable: That means giving up the ghost, coming out and being straight with viewers and stating that Granadaland is not North West England, just the urban south of North West England. It should concentrate on providing Mancunians, Scousers and Chestonians with the best amount of high quality news for those areas and provide Manchester United and Liverpool Football Club supporters with all the news about their favourite football teams.
Then the programmers at ITV1 Granada Reports should apologise to it’s frustrated Manx, South Cumbrian and North Lancastrian viewers for not covering their areas for so long, admit that it cannot provide an adequate news- service and then hand the Custody Care and Control of half an million homes north of Preston over to ITV Border, who will be able to provide those viewers with a Real North West Regional news-programme including some exciting coverage of southern Scotland sufficient to really big-up the Northern Pride of North Lancastrians and South Cumbrians: Has it never occurred to programmers at ITV1 Granada that northern viewers of Regional Television, particularly those living in more northerly counties, that they dislike news coming from mainly well to the south of them (because in their mind, a long way south has closer associations with middle-class communities, irrelevant to their day-to-day lives)? Some news from a similar distance- or even further- to the north of northern communities reaffirms their sense of “Northern-ness” and makes the news more exciting and interesting rather than annoying to them. However, what viewers in South Cumbria and northern Lancashire need is more and effective local news- coverage: This is precisely what they are not getting at all off ITV1 Granada Reports.
The apparent ignorance of ITV Granada to places north of Wigan comes out in political coverage- like the Granada Debate hosted by their political correspondent, Hannah Miller. There’s usually a Labour MP and a Conservative MP, but none of the MPs selected come from anywhere north of Wigan. Why would viewers in Lancashire and South Cumbria allow such ignorance of issues affecting their communities week after week? They would be much better represented in the English version of ITV1 Border!
For viewers in the Isle of Man the loss of Manx Telecom TV in December 2020 means that the Isle of Man is now without any form of a real Local Television News Service. The nearest approximation is the You Tube based Isle of Man TV (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCIWwfPM2JDFBa_dj3OykOg). Ideally the entire Manx community should come together to set up their own Community Manx Television service provided by (and for) Manx residents. Both ITV1 Granada and BBC1 North West can then relinquish responsibility for providing news on the Crown Dependency.