McLeod welcomes changes to ITV Border local programmes

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SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Dr Aileen McLeod today (Friday) welcomed the announcement by ITV Border that, in addition to its new 30-minute evening news programme focussing on the South of Scotland and Cumbria, from January 2014 viewers in Scotland will receive 90 minutes a week of Scottish news and current affairs concentrating on topics which directly relate to the South of Scotland, as well as programming focussing on the arguments for and against independence.


Dr McLeod commented:


“These are welcome developments which will go some way towards redressing the balance as far as TV coverage of news and current affairs in the South of Scotland is concerned.


“I welcome the commitment to dedicated Scottish news and current affairs reporting for South of Scotland viewers and that this will start in January 2014. As far as I am concerned that won’t be a moment too soon.


“For too long ITV Border viewers have been restricted in what they are able to receive in terms of coverage of Scottish issues, particularly when compared with the sort of programming that is now being offered by STV. The merger of ITV Border and ITV Tyne-Tees simply shifted the balance to an unacceptable extent.


“Although I believe that a single Scottish Channel 3 Licence is the best way to provide progammes which are relevant to Scotland, I do recognise that what is now being offered to ITV Border viewers is more than a return to the old days of ITV Border.


“I am pleased that there will be more local content and more Scottish news and current affairs, even by comparison with the old-style Border TV and that from November this year there will finally be the technical flexibility for different programming to be shown in Scotland than in England.


“In the run up to the referendum, the most important decision voters in Scotland have ever been asked to take, that flexibility and provision of thought-provoking high quality news and current affairs coverage is very important.”

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