18th December 2020
IF EVER the viewers of Regional Television in the northern North West of England and on the Isle of Man at all needed a sharp Reality Check as to how much either ITV1 Granada or BBC North West Tonight covers areas of North West England north of Preston they got one this week! BBC North West Tonight sometimes covers something from Cumbria every night of the week, then there will be a week without any such coverage- such as has happened this week! ITV Granada Reports goes weeks without covering Cumbria, covers the Isle of Man rarely and also covers Lancashire relatively poorly. At least BBC North West Tonight covers Lancashire well, there were three news items on BBC North West Tonight this evening concerning the county this evening and Lancashire teams did feature in the Sports coverage too.
However, just covering the counties of Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire (these make up the ancient region called Lancastria) in news- output excludes 45% of the geographical North West of England, namely Cumbria. BBC North West Tonight is not called BBC Lancastria Tonight so it should cover all of North West England, not just be restricted to “Lancastria” for days at a time.
ITV Granada Reports, which has the name of a city in southern Spain in it’s name does actually advertise as being the Regional News service for the North West, but it covers an area it likes to call “Granadaland”, which manifestly is ≠ to North West England and the Isle of Man (which it also advertises as covering): In practical experience of how “Granadaland” is referred to and what ITV Granada Reports covers, “Granadaland” really means just Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and south Lancashire, i.e. not even “Lancastria”, just south and central “Lancastria” really!
On the basis that one or two viewers alone are not likely to be able to succeed in pressurising BBC North West Tonight, let alone ITV Granada Reports into covering all of the North West of England well, those viewers in the northern North West who want their area and places further north covered can help themselves to get better all-round Regional news coverage of all of North West England, north as well as south by taking these simple steps:
Firstly, if you live anywhere north of a line running from Southport to Rochdale you should always watch BBC North West Tonight over ITV Granada Reports: Without a doubt, you would get better local coverage since BBC North West Tonight does cover Lancashire well, in addition to covering happenings in Greater Manchester and Merseyside. ITV Granada Reports has about 80% coverage of Greater Manchester and Merseyside, a further 10% tends to be Cheshire and the High Peak area of Derbyshire leaving the remaining 10% for Lancashire/ Isle of Man- i.e. about one news-item a night from Lancashire. Forget watching ITV Granada if you hope to get any coverage of Cumbria at all!
Secondly, if you live in Lancashire and South Cumbria in places where your default ITV Region is ITV Granada, re-tune your Sky/ Freeview Digi-box associated with your television (or get your Sky or Freeview technician to do this for you if this is a bit beyond you!) so that it has your postcode as a central Lake District or Kendal postcode (those starting LA9, LA22 or LA23). This will keep your BBC Region as BBC North West but your ITV1 Region will become ITV1 Border (England)- which covers Cumbria extremely well. In these days of digital television, you should be able to pick up ITV Border on Freeview from as far south as Preston with favourable topography and an aerial pointing north (with a clear view to the north). Further south, you can still receive ITV Border (English version) from Sky or by using ITV Hub and watching ITV Border (England) Lookaround news- programme on your computer.
This way you can fix it for yourself so that if you live in Lancashire or South Cumbria you can watch ITV1 Border (England)’s Lookaround at 6.pm on weekday evenings to get the Cumbrian news- news about places you visit (even if you live as far south as Wigan, you will have visited the Lakes on days out in the summer), where you work or even where you live (if you live in South Cumbria). Then you can watch BBC North West Tonight to get news about Lancashire and the main urban centres in the southern North West of England- i.e. good local and all-round news-coverage.
Thirdly, write to BBC North West Tonight and ITV1 Granada Reports to explain why you are turning away from ITV1 Granada, that’s it’s the same reason why you also have these issues with BBC North West Tonight: Namely that the northern half of North West England is scarcely- covered in news- output, if ever, that you expect a North West Regional News service to cover northern communities and provide news- coverage of all of North West England- right up to the Scottish Border. Tell them you are prepared to pay up to £100 to get the Sky Technician in to tweak your telly so that you can receive more local north-of-area Cumbrian news- in order that you get good all-round coverage north as well as south (i.e. across ALL of North West England!).
The relevant email contact details are: firstname.lastname@example.org (for BBC North West Tonight)
email@example.com (for ITV1 Granada Reports)
The one-two-three punch of Choosing (out of existing North West Regional news services), Acting (by getting a Sky technician in, in order that you might access a better local/ north of area news-service from ITV Border) and then Writing (telling BBC North West Tonight and ITV Granada Reports that their coverage of the northern North West is not good enough) will send a powerful message. If just a few folk living in Lancashire and South Cumbria follow- through with this, it will lead to a major rethink in BBC North West Tonight and ITV1 Granada Reports’ Head-Sheds!