South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has written to ITV expressing her concern that ITV Border will once again not broadcast this evening’s (Thurday) Scotland Tonight Referendum special.
The programme is the second instalment in a series of referendum debates and will see Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon face Labour’s Anas Sarwar battling it out over welfare.
Although ITV Border is promising that “there will be full coverage in ITV Lookaround at 6pm, previewing the debate on the day and then a comprehensive review of the debate in Lookaround at 6pm the following day”, Ms McAlpine argues that this is simply not good enough.
Commenting, the SNP MSP said:
“I find it quite unbelievable that ITV Border are still refusing to broadcast Scotland Tonight’s referendum special, particularly after the strength of feeling rising from the last debate. This continuing disparity in the coverage of an issue which is so important to Scotland’s future shows that Ofcom desperately need to make changes to the services being offered on Channel 3 for the south of Scotland and that they need to happen now.
“I was pleased with Ofcom’s findings as far as Scottish news and current affairs coverage for viewers in the south of Scotland was concerned as it will allow for significantly more coverage of Scottish issues than has been the case for a long time.”
“However, this needs to happen now, not later. It is important for democracy that every part of the country is able to hear both sides of the argument. In correspondence with ITV earlier in the year, they promised that they were committed to covering the referendum extensively on ITV Border, but the decision not to broadcast tonight’s debate raises serious questions about that commitment.
“I sincerely hope that they will revisit this decision.”
Notes to editors: please find attached Joan’s letter to ITV.