MSPs concerned over lack of independence debate on ITV Border

SNP MSPs for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod and Joan McAlpine have today (Tuesday) expressed their concern and disappointment that STV’s first televised debate on Scotland’s independence referendum will not be broadcast to viewers in the South of Scotland. Both MSPs have argued over recent months for changes to broadcasting in the Border TV area to allow for more coverage of Scottish news and current affairs.


Aileen McLeod commented:


“This is yet another example of the problems we have been highlighting in recent months and another example of ITV Border’s current programming arrangements failing the South of Scotland.


“The rest of Scotland is going to have a chance to see Nicola Sturgeon and Michael Moore debate the case for and against independence, but the most that viewers in the Scottish part of the ITV Border are will get is a mention on the news that the debate is happening and advice to watch it online.


“That is hardly adequate coverage of this vitally important issue for the future of our country.”


Joan McAlpine, who recently led a members’ business debate on ITV Border coverage in the Scottish Parliament said:


“The decision by ITV Border not to broadcast Thursday’s debate is shocking, but not surprising.


“This is exactly why in my response to the recent Ofcom consultation on Channel 3 I pushed for an all-Scotland licence, or, failing that, an obligation on ITV to purchase programming from STV as well as improving the local output from the region.


“The decision on Scottish independence is so fundamentally important to the future of our country that it is completely unacceptable viewers in the south of Scotland are being left out of the debate simply because of where they live.”


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