9th January 2022
On the evening of Friday 7th January there were eight news-items about Cumbria- including two concerning South Cumbria- on ITV1 Border’s flagship evening news-bulletin Lookaround. There were just three news-items covering southern Scotland. This does not include Sports coverage which also had an extensive piece about Carlisle United.
Cumbria gets at least 50% of news-coverage in just about every bulletin- unless, of course there is news of some major disaster in southern Scotland, or in North or West Northumberland (which is very rare). At one level this is to be expected, because Cumbrian viewers make up over 50% of those in ITV1 News Border’s transmission area- southern Scotland is very rural and quite sparsely populated even though it covers a somewhat greater surface area than Cumbria. Southern Scottish viewers get their own programming from ITV1 Border (Scotland) with programmes like Border Life and Representing Border, which do not cover Cumbria directly. So the ITV1 Border News-programmers make sure that the potential 400,000 Cumbrian viewers who get ITV1 Border (England) get a bit more representation in the main evening news-bulletins. Having now watched a number of episodes of ITV1 News Border’s Lookaround news-bulletins, I can safely conclude that, overall, Cumbria gets coverage partially or wholly in typically six out of typically eleven news items: Cumbria is the second-best covered county in England in terms of regional news (at least from ITV1), beaten only by London (which has its own bespoke Regional News on both BBC1 and ITV1).
The Lookaround programme from ITV1 Border on the evening of 7th January 2022 produced eight items of news-coverage about Cumbria. Southern Scottish news- coverage was very much in the minority and there was nothing about Northumberland at all.
All of this ought to blow wide apart the belief that North Lancastrians and South Cumbrians (those not normally in receipt of ITV1 News Border) may have been inculcated with, namely the belief that “ITV Border mainly provides news about Scotland”: That is patently not true whatsoever!
Meanwhile, viewers who live in that part of northern North West England sandwiched between Preston to the south and Kendal to the north, and which extends along the south-west Cumbrian coast as far north as Millom are clearly not well- served by ITV1 Granada Reports: ITV1 Granada scarcely covers much north of Preston! Viewers in this large area of northern North West England might like to investigate what ITV1 News Border offers in its flagship Regional News programme, Lookaround for themselves to discover a news- programme that very well covers communities locally to the north of them, but which is not at all “Mainly Scottish News”! If viewers in northern Lancashire and South Cumbria do not have the wherewithal to watch ITV1 News Border’s Lookaround on their televisions they can watch ITV1 News Border’s Lookaround for the day in question from the ITV1 Border website from about 8.30 pm onwards (typically two hours after it is aired live). The website link is here: https://www.itv.com/news/border/2021-11-22/watch-the-itv-news-border-evening-programme. If you enjoy Lookaround, why not tell your local friends about it, and explain how they can watch it? Disabuse them of the notion that ITV1 Border “Mainly covers Scottish News”, because it doesn’t!
If you decide to do this, write to ITV1 News Border to say that you are trying to watch their programme because you find the content in ITV1 Border’s Lookaround more geographic- appropriate to where you live than you get from ITV1 Granada Reports. ITV1 News Border’s e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you C.c. in the emails email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org to your e-mail to ITV1 News Border too: If the two mainstream Regional Television News- services for North West England see folk are actively seeking alternative Regional News- services then the impact at the Headquarters of both BBC1 North West and ITV1 Granada at Media City, Salford Quayswill be much greater than just sending e-mails to BBC1 North West and ITV1 Granada Reports complaining about the lack of coverage of northern North West England!
And it only when the two main North West Regional Television news- services get real shocks from their more northern viewers that the Programmers for BBC1 North West Tonight and/ or ITV1 Granada Reports are likely to make real efforts to improve the degree of coverage they provide North of Preston. When that happens, this Website campaigning for better Local and Regional television news for viewers in Lancashire, South Cumbria and on the Isle of Man will have achieved it’s purpose. But if the route to getting there is by encouraging enough viewers in South Cumbria and northern Lancashire to switch to ITV1 News Border’s Lookaround– whilst telling BBC1 North West Tonight and ITV1 Granada Reports about it, then that is what this Website Campaign will do.