Wednesday, 30 April 2008

More support

Support continues to grow for our fight against the ITV plans.
We've just had the following from the leader of Eastbourne council, who also sits on East Sussex County Council-

I have put a "Notice of Motion" to the Borough Council for consideration when they meet this evening. It reads as follows:

"That Eastbourne Borough Council notes with concern the current proposals to merge the three Meridian news services into one from the start of 2009. The Council believes that in future this will lead to local people being less well informed of local issues. The Council therefore resolves to make representations to Ofcom opposing these plans and urging them to reject the proposals."
I am confident that this will be passed. "

I have also submitted a similar motion to East Sussex County Council for consideration

Friday, 25 April 2008

Across the Border

An intrepid group from our Save ITV News campaign at Border Television has headed south to London to bring their case direct to Ofcom. The group presented the regulator with thousands of postcards from loyal viewers and supporters who don't want to see their programme 'Lookaround' axed. The team, made up of local reps and MPs from the area, played a DVD to highlight the special place the show holds in the community. They asked Ofcom to take the views of the thousands of people who'd returned postcards into account in deciding whether to agree ITV's proposals which would mean the end of their service. Ofcom were in listening mode - we wait to see whether they act.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

ITV unions 1#

Bharat Patel, NUJ rep at Central talk about the campaign.

Friday, 4 April 2008

ITV smoke and mirrors and freeview

ITV revised its proposals for re-framing regional news across the country. At first glance, they seem to have take some concerns on board - their emphasis is now on 18 sub-regions rather than the previously heralded 9 region 'solution'. The revised plans demonstrate one or two things; the pressure of the campaign is working, geographical switches show that they do not have a coherent strategy and, they recognise that localness is something that is valued. In a journalists Union it perhaps a occupational hazard to see conspiracies at every turn, but one does get the sense that the shady hand of Ofcom is present. In a related development, Ofcom announced its plans for HD on freeview. We have argued that a key part of delivering sustainable regional news and wider PSB objectives, can be met by use of digital terrestrial spectrum resources. ITV and others can be held to strong PSB commitments because, in return, they are given gifted or discounted preferential access to the freeview platform. Such incentives and obligations enabled ITV to grow and prosper in the analogue age, new remedies can be found in the digital age.