Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The news where you are

Anyone who lives north of the Watford Gap will be familiar with the BBC's 6 o'clock news programme and its inability to see events through anything other than the prism of the London metropolitan elite, followed by what is invariably introduced as "the news where you are" -- separate national news programmes produced for the constituent nations of the UK, or regional programmes for the various different parts of England. In my experience, these are -- on the whole -- parochial, narrow-minded and ultimately rather depressing to watch. I find this especially true of Reporting Scotland, with its "murder, football and kittens" menu of stories.

The relationship between the "main" 6 o'clock show and "the news where you are" is brilliantly satirised in this short piece by novelist James Robertson:


  1. I really like the regional news, or - as I prefer to call it - 'the proper news' , ie the stuff that matters! I must admit much of this is down to my civic pride I would imagine but it's perhaps telling that Granada Reports (ITV) and North West Tonight (BBC1) regularly feature in the News categories for BAFTA each year. I like your summary of what regional news means, reminds me of one of my favourite YouTube comments on a NW Tonight upload 'Sunday evening murder/death bulletin...'

    1. Sounds like you're better served than we are by our "national news", then! "Murder, football and kittens" is perhaps an overly glib way of summing it up, but that's what it feels like a lot of the time: a big story on some crime-related issue, about 10 minutes' worth of sport, and some twee "human interest" stories sprinkled in for good measure. And whenever they do tackle significant issues like the referendum or the NHS, the whole thing reeks of barely concealed institutionalised bias.