I BACK REGIONAL ITV AGAINST JOB CUTS
I'm giving my full backing to the NUJ's campaign to stand up for ITV's local and regional news services (1); the proposed sweeping job cuts and local service mergers are a regressive step for the fourth estate and a dangerous road to be on.
ITV has announced it will cut 429 of its editorial staff from its local and regional news programmes across the country - in the process merging newsrooms and creating enormous 'mega-regions'.
ITV has been reducing its invaluable localised focus enormously since the Conservatives passed the 1990 Act, paving the way for deregulation of the industry and making ITV a business dependent on shareholder profit instead of a protected localised service and alternative to the BBC. It is a dangerous road to be on.
And now ITV has announced a further downscaling of local input and planning. This is a dangerously regressive step for the fourth estate, and further jeopardises ITV's role as an important local news outlet.
There is a greater, not lesser, need for regional media in today's 24 hour news world. Local news, like Anglia News, scrutinises local and regional politicians and political bodies and covers regional issues in a way that national organisations can't. Anglia News is an absolutely invaluable part of the broadcasting world, here in the East -- our public life would be much worse off without it or with the scaled down regional news provision that is proposed.
Local news and current affairs coverage on local services like Anglia should not be cut back. That is why I'm backing the NUJ's campaign against the ITV cuts and have signed the NUJ's petition to No.10 on this issue. (2)