Have ITV Granada Reports News- Programmers become aware of this Website: They are covering Cumbria.

24th August 2021

It’s good to see after all this time, but after seeming to totally ignore the half of North West England that is north of Lancaster for so long ITV1 Granada Reports have started to cover Cumbria. It is a joy to see but two significant pieces on Cumbrian affairs: The first is the news about the voluntary organisation called Fix The Fells repairing footpaths on the fells in the Lake District and helping to prevent erosion in the process (the link to that news- feature is here: https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2021-08-22/pandemic-boosts-lake-district-and-wears-it-away-at-the-same-time). That was the other day and today there was a news- feature in which the main ITV1 Granada Reports’ presenters, Lucy Meacock and Gamal Fahnbulleh interviewed Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox about would-be tourists getting Covid-19 tests before travelling to Cumbria (link to this news- feature here: https://www.itv.com/news/granada/2021-08-24/visitors-to-lake-district-should-get-covid-test-before-they-travel). There have been other news- items about Cumbria on ITV1 Granada Reports (albeit just South Cumbria) in recent days, such as the diver who rescued a woman’s prosthetic leg from Lake Windermere and that of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust- which covers South Cumbria- being returned to special measures.


This development is a pleasant surprise for viewers of ITV Granada Reports who live north of Preston, who have become used to their community and those just to the north of them not being covered in news-coverage. As to the reasons for this sudden development, could it be that someone who works for ITV Granada Reports, or even one of the news- presenters or programmers has stumbled across this Website? Could it be that they or some of their colleagues became alarmed that there are people who live in Cumbria or northern Lancashire willing to call- out the fact that viewers in the North of the ITV Granada transmission area have effectively been ignored whilst their loyalty has been taken for granted. Might this have resulted in a decision amongst programmers to really start covering Cumbria in news- output for fear of a loss of viewers to a more northerly ITV Region that covers Cumbria much better (namely ITV News Border with their flagship news- programme Lookaround)?

If that is what has happened, then I would consider that a result. However, there has to be a consistent long- term change with ITV1 Granada Reports covering something from Cumbria (including northern Cumbria) every night- or at least most nights going forwards. This Website campaigns for more geographic- appropriate news- coverage for viewers who live in places like Ulverston, Kirkby Lonsdale, Millom and Carnforth- and for ITV1 Granada Reports to produce coverage that is consistently relevant to such places. This means that there has to be a sweep of coverage from Cheshire right up to the Scottish Border- along with more coverage of northern Lancashire and South Cumbria. That requires a commitment to a minimum of three news- items from northwards of Preston, which could still be done without diluting coverage of Manchester and Liverpool (by trimming just a minute off the Sports to make room for an additional news-item).

It remains the case that BBC1 North West Tonight covers Lancashire better than ITV1 Granada Reports and (usually) there will be something about Cumbria on the programme on most nights. Perhaps programmers at ITV Granada are aware of this- and in an attempt to retain their more northerly viewers- are now making more of an effort to cover Cumbria. ITV.Plc gets its money from advertising revenue and from ITV Hub subscriptions, so aware that a loss of viewers means fewer viewing figures for potential advertisers (who are not then as willing to pay as high a premium) they are responding to North Lancastrian and South Cumbrian viewer preferences and market- pressure. If this is what is making ITV Granada’s programmers cover the northern North West of England- as well as Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region- that is a very good thing as far as this Website Campaign is concerned.

How about ITV Granada go one better and provide an opt-out for more localised news-coverage for South Cumbria, northern Lancashire – and indeed the Isle of Man? That would be even better.

Published by northwestisnorthwest

My name is Ian Pennell and I am a freelance Book-keeper: I live near Alston, in the North Pennines in north-east Cumbria. I have friends who live in northern North West England - near Lancaster (which is where I went to University and used to live until 17 years ago) and in other parts of Cumbria. I have two Website Campaigns that seek to promote more localised Regional TV coverage for large rural areas across the North of North West England and North East England. . A big problem is that the Regional Television Bulletins for the North West covers the southern third of the Region about 90% (plus a part of Derbyshire which is NOT the North West of England), covers the middle third of North West England poorly and covers the northern third of North West England not at all! When I was studying at Lancaster University, I used to watch BBC1 North West Tonight because it covered areas up around where I was brought up- in northern Cumbria as well as more immediately locally around Lancaster. Then I came home one day, turned on BBC1 North West Tonight wondering why they were silent on Cumbria and discovered why: Most of Cumbria had been chopped off the weather-map! . People living in the westernmost part of North West England (around St. Bees Head) have local BBC news on their televisions which is 90% about North East England! In rural and northern Northumberland too, Regional TV, as is received by viewers, tends too often to be Tyneside/ Wearside/ Teesside- focussed with little news locally. Communities in North Northumberland have strong links across the Border into south-east Scotland and towards Edinburgh but none of the Regional TV News- services serving Northumberland today ever goes across the Scottish Border for significant happenings of interest to North Northumbrians. I have also done walking in the area, including around the Cheviots in the past- and the Northumberland/ Scottish Borders/ East and Mid Lothian area is vast- but it is largely overlooked by mainstream Regional TV! . North Yorkshire, the largest county in England also falls in the gaps between coverage from BBC Look North (NE/ Cumbria) or ITV1 News Tyne Tees in the north of the county, and the Leeds-based BBC1 and ITV1 Regional TV- services in the south of the county: North Yorkshire is a huge, yet beautiful county, which I have visited and explored in the past, yet is poorly covered in Regional TV. . Based near Alston, near the Cumbria/ Northumberland boundary I am well-placed to discuss Regional TV in all these large rural areas, in which collectively some two million folk live, yet they are poorly covered by the Regional TV News- services set up to serve them. These huge areas are an hour to two hours' drive from where I live: North Lancashire and South/ West Cumbria are to the south-west, Northumberland and the Scottish Borders and Lothian are to the north and north-east, and North Yorkshire is to the south-east of my home near Alston. I am well-placed to draw attention to deficiencies in Regional TV coverage for folk in all these areas. The North Pennines, where I live, is arguably another large area that touches on the other three where Regional TV coverage falls through the gaps completely (and that is despite the North Pennines running north to south down the middle of the BBC1 NE/ Cumbria Region). . In two websites, one for northern North West England and the Isle of Man (a country in it's own right that does not have it's own TV service!), and another Website focussing on Northumberland, North Yorkshire and the North Pennines I make the point that Regional TV that informs viewers of important things in their local area is a Public Service, funding for which should be given a higher priority (and if necessary via statute through the BBC's Charter), than funding for Soaps, Films or Sport- which are for leisure. I also give viewers the tools to fight effectively for better- and more geographic-appropriate Regional TV where they live- and to seek it through alternative (often little-known) local TV services, some of which may only be available on the Internet.

One thought on “Have ITV Granada Reports News- Programmers become aware of this Website: They are covering Cumbria.

  1. yes even itv / bbc websit not even very good for isle of man to lot area that itv and bbc do nothing for isle of man and Cumbria and Lancashire and buch orther areas

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: