Thursday, 13 September 2007

ITV likely to change our local news programme

The nature and scope of the media is changing fast and it's no secret that TV's Channel 3, or ITV if you prefer, is faced with the decision about how to make some substantial cost savings to keep the show on the road. At present there are 17 regional news programmes and it has been announced that they would like to reduce this to just nine.

Up until now we have had the choice of ITV or BBC news programmes that have concentrated on Devon and Cornwall. Having said that 'Spotlight' on BBC1 does have reporters in Somerset and Dorset and there might be the very occasional report from Bridgwater or Weymouth say but the vast majority of their stories relate to 'my' two counties.

Under this ITV proposal it looks as if there will be one regional programme to cover everything west of Bristol at least. The geography of our peninsula is such that this would become far too big an area for a news programme and I think that their audience share will be eroded. Our local ITV network started with the much loved 'Westward' to be followed by Television South West, or TSW for short. Then 'Westcountry' took over the franchise; I have to admit to being more comfortable with the BBC offering, feeling that Spotlight is somehow more homely apart from anything else.

Certainly our local ITV service have put on some interesting local documentaries and series over the years and it's a shame that they and the BBC have had to include such a high proportion of national programmes in their output. I feel even more the need to blog about local matters and would love to at least double my output if time would only permit. There are so many more subjects I would like to write about, one of the big problems is to choose from the huge selection available but to make the blog readable and digestible - well that's the theory anyway!

Meanwhile I'm waiting for someone to invent the 30 hour day!

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