16th September 2022
This last week has been one of great loss to this nation- and locally. Queen Elizabeth II has been a source of immense pride and stability. The Queen’s selfless service and Christian faith has helped to keep Britain together and provided a sense of security through some enormous social changes. No-one under the age of 70, that’s over 80% of the population, has known a Britain without this wonderful steadfast Christian Matriarch as the Head of State. Her Majesty’s loss has taken that away, and brought an enormous outpouring of grief, not least in North West England and on the Isle of Man.
Both National and Regional Television have, rightly, given a lot of sympathetic coverage to Her Majesty’s passing and have included coverage celebrating her long life. There has been coverage of her visits to North West England and the travel plans of folk from the Region going down to see The Queen’s Lying in State in London. Certainly ITV Granada Reports covered several Merseyside people who are queuing to see Her Majesty The Queen Lying in State, just one mention for a Barrow-in-Furness man. BBC North West Tonight’s coverage of Her Majesty’s passing has also, rightly, been extensive. For viewers of Regional TV who live in Greater Manchester and Merseyside one cannot fault it.
Viewers in northern and central Cumbria also enjoyed even more sympathetic and extensive coverage on ITV Border Lookaround. No less than seven news-items featured Cumbria (that’s over 70% of the total coverage) and five of these Cumbrian news-items covered travel to Her Majesty’s Lying in State, school-children learning about The Queen’s death and dealing with the bereavement and the related issue of loss through suicide and how three fathers who lost family members this way identify with the loss of The Queen. The Queen’s historic visits to Cumbria- to Appleby and to a Paper Mill at Burneside, near Kendal were also featured.
Unfortunately, over 100,000 South Cumbrians live in the ITV Granada transmission area by default and many of those folk cannot easily get ITV Border Lookaround. Most people, at a time of such huge loss and change would wish to draw near to family and friends in their area, and with their own- and nearby- communities. The most northerly item of news in ITV Granada Reports featured Blackpool so, at a time of great national loss, viewers across a large area of northern North West England did not get coverage of their local area- and how folk there were impacted. The coverage from ITV Border Lookaround shows how deeply Cumbrian communities have been hit by Her Majesty’s death: It is a shame that in much of South Cumbria, viewers can only get the Regional news showing the sadness and grief from places that are 100 miles away rather than in their own county. North Lancastrians too, who have closer affiliation to Cumbria than to Greater Manchester/ Merseyside, would probably prefer coverage of the Cumbrian aftermath of Her Majesty The Queen’s passing to the excessive Merseyside coverage of recent days- and a bit more North Lancashire coverage.