If you live on the Cumbria- Lancashire border ITV Border Lookaround provides local news.

20th June 2022

Dear Readers

This evening, the flagship ITV1 Regional News programme enjoyed by viewers in most of Cumbria and southern Scotland, namely ITV Border Lookaround covered the tragic deaths of two people who died when the helecopter they were flying crashed in a field near the village of Burton in Lonsdale. This was a tragic event for the people killed and for their close relatives, but nonetheless ITV Border Lookaround covered this news despite it actually being just south-east of their main transmission area, although viewers who live near Burton-in-Lonsdale and in the neary Lune Valley of far north-east Lancashire can pick up the signal for ITV Border with a clear view north-west.

ITV Border Lookaround this evening (20th June 2022) also covered a tragic accident in the Lake District (Seathwaite), the impact of the proposed Railway strikes on a secondary school in Penrith and listed rail services not running on the Cumbrian Coast railway line. Carlisle was also featured in respect of an event to support Ukrainian refugees. All these were concerns happening within an hour’s drive of the Cumbria- Lancashire border. Of the remaining news- features Wigton, in northern Cumbria was mentioned and a further five concerned happenings just north of the Scottish Border, chiefly the Dumfries area but also including the community buyout of upland fells near Langholm- less than eighty miles from the Lancashire- Cumbria boundary.

Now, Burton in Lonsdale is just inside the extreme westernmost part of North Yorkshire, very close to its border with Lancashire. The village is 15 miles by road from Lancaster and 19 miles from Kendal, and Burton in Lonsdale. There are villages in the far north of Lancashire where Burton-in-Lonsdale is actually to the south of them by a few miles- namely Cowan Bridge, Ireby and Leck! What this actually means is that viewers of Regional TV who live within a few miles of the Lancashire- Cumbria boundary get more Immediate local news-coverage (that’s news within half an hour’s travel time) and more Regionally Local news (30 minutes to an hour’s travel time away) if they watched ITV Border Lookaround than if they watched ITV Granada Reports. Furthermore, ITV Border Lookaround, covering a rural area, covers news that is most likely to be topically-relevant to the rural Cumbria-Lancashire-North Yorkshire boundary area, whereas ITV Granada Reports is very metropolitan covering- as it does- the large urban metropolises of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.

For all these reasons I would strongly recommend that anyone who lives in the rural hinterland just north and north-east of Lancaster switches their aerials to point north to pick up the signal for ITV Border Lookaround, not ITV Granada Reports in order to get more local, and more geographic- appropriate news. Of course, you will not get reports about most of Lancashire, but the news from ITV Border Lookaround will come very close to your home more often than does ITV Granada Reports. So if you live near Carnforth, Hornby, or Silverdale making the switch to ITV Border really is a no- brainer to get more topically-appropriate and more-geographic-appropriate news-coverage.

The BBC Regional News- programme North West Tonight also covered the Burton-in-Lonsdale helicopter crash this evening, it also covered ferry services on Lake Windermere. Now BBC North West Tonight will cover Cumbria sporadically (usually just one news- feature, if at all) and it usually has a couple of news-items on Lancashire. Thus, if you want the best local and all-round (i.e., from the north as well as the south) news- coverage my advice would be for anyone living north of Preston to watch ITV Border Lookaround for the Cumbrian (and Cumbria- Lancashire border) news followed by BBC North West Tonight for the Lancashire news-coverage.

However, if you just stick with ITV Granada Reports followed by BBC North West Tonight you will get the Mainly-Manchester-Merseyside news followed by Mostly-Manchester-Merseyside-news-with-Lancashire-news-thrown-in (and maybe a bit of Cumbria). Particularly from Garstang and Fleetwood northwards, it is clear that you hear very little about what is happening just to the north of you, with 80% of the total news-coverage being about places an hour’s drive or more to the south: In other words, for your local area that is a combination of Regional News-services that are biased geographically- away from many nice places that you may frequent just to the north of you and biased towards the metropolitan centres that can scarcely be considered local.

Also, ITV Granada Reports duplicates much of what is covered on BBC North West Tonight, i.e., both programmes will cover the Council leader in Liverpool being suspended for misconduct and the fatal stabbing in Manchester, so you often don’t get that much more benefit from watching both ITV Granada Reports then BBC North West Tonight. If you are going do do that, I would stick with BBC North West Tonight that does have more coverage of Lancashire, and occasionally some of Cumbria too.

Although ITV Border Lookaround does have some news- coverage of southern Scotland, the majority of news is about Cumbria; for a North Lancastrian a lot of the news will be about locations more accessible to you than The Wirral, Stockport or South Manchester. Moreover, as already noted here, much of the coverage on ITV Border Lookaround is focussed on rural issues, such as those around farming and tourism,- which is much more likely to have relevance for communities in places like Pilling, Quernmore or Capernwray than the metropolitan concerns of gangs, Black Lives Matter or racial tensions that ITV Granada Reports covers so much of in Manchester, Oldham or Liverpool.

If you live just a bit too far south to get ITV Border on your television, but would still like to watch it you can still do so if you have access to the Internet- ITV Border Lookaround is loaded on to the ITV Border website about two hours after being aired live on a week-night (i.e., about 8.30 pm) and it is then available to watch for the next 24 hours. You can watch ITV Border Lookaround by clicking on the link here https://www.itv.com/news/border/2022-06-17/watch-the-itv-news-border-evening-programme.

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.

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