Joan McAlpine To Meet ITV Following South Of Scotland TV Debate

Joan will meet this week with bosses at ITV to discuss “inadequate” television coverage of news and current affairs in the region.

Ms McAlpine is leading a campaign to ensure that viewers right across the south - from Dumfriesshire to Galloway and the Borders - have access to full Scottish news coverage.

At present, they receive their Channel Three (ITV) programmes from Border TV, which is based in Gateshead and largely covers stories south of the border from areas such as the Lake District and the Cumbrian coast.

Last week, SNP regional MSP Ms McAlpine led a members’ debate at Holyrood on the subject, where she expressed concern that ITV was “in denial” about the problem.

The rest of Scotland outside the south receives its Channel Three (ITV)  programming from STV, which provides dedicated Scottish news and current affairs, including the highly rated late evening programme Scotland Tonight.

She said: “I’m looking forward to meeting with ITV on Wednesday to discuss what can be done to improve the current inadequate and unsatisfactory television offering.

‘It is obvious that Scottish news and current affairs coverage in the south of Scotland is not good enough. The strength of feeling on the issue, from across the political spectrum, was made particularly clear throughout last week’s debate and in the days following.

“There has been a great response from local organisations who are passionate about the issue.  I was extremely pleased to hear that the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce will host a conference this summer where broadcasters, politicians and local representatives will be encouraged to suggest changes to the current television provision.”

She continued:  “At a time of such political importance in the lead up to the referendum on Scottish independence, it is vital that viewers in this area receive the same coverage from both sides of the debate as the rest of the country.

“I will not let ITV ignore the strength of feeling on this issue.  Viewers in the south of Scotland deserve better.”

Watch the debate 

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