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Daily editor hits out at regional TV news as local channel plan scrapped

Martin TideswellA daily newspaper editor has criticised regional broadcast news after plans for a new television channel on his patch were scrapped.

Martin Tideswell, left, who edits Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel, has claimed regional TV does not offer viewers “the kind of service which they would like” in comparison to his own outlet.

In the case of Stoke and North Staffordshire, Martin has claimed television viewers are more likely to see news items about Birmingham or Manchester than where they live.

Earlier this week broadcast regulator Ofcom scrapped plans to award new local TV licences in 13 towns and cities. Stoke was among the 13 areas to find out it would not be getting a licence.

In a Sentinel piece about the announcement, Martin said: “There is no doubt that regional TV – in its current form – does not offer viewers the kind of service which they would like.

“Very little of the output is local to the area and viewers here in North Staffordshire are more likely to be shown news items from Birmingham or Manchester than they are about Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme, the Staffordshire Moorlands or Stafford Borough.

“The reality is that there is only one media locally which attends court hearings daily, council meetings, and works around the clock seven days a week to bring local news to people in the Potteries and surrounding areas and I’m very proud to say that is The Sentinel.”

The other areas affected by Ofcom’s decision are Bangor, Kidderminster, Bromsgrove, Stratford-upon-Avon, Barnstaple, Limavady, Derry/Londonderry, Inverness, Luton, Plymouth, Gloucester and the Forth Valley.

8 comments

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  • August 2, 2018 at 11:00 am
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    regional news tends to be centred on where the newsroom is as in Mostly Kent TV, real name BBC South East

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  • August 2, 2018 at 12:45 pm
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    Having just glanced at the Stoke Sentinel website which features suspected murder, arson, vicious dog attacks, armed sieges, knife wielding robbers and drunks beseiging a pub, I feel there’s an argument for the beleaguered folk of Staffordshire to see news about slightly less depressing areas….

    Sorry. :)

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  • August 2, 2018 at 12:57 pm
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    Regional TV is indeed imperfect in terms of serving local audience – not least because it is just that, regional rather than local. But it’s a brave newspaper editor nowadays who can hand on heart say that their title is doing any better.

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  • August 2, 2018 at 1:04 pm
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    Traditional print and broadcast news mediums are like chalk and cheese, they require a completely different set of skills to be effective, and don’t underestimate the amount of hyper local community news that is needed to fill the alloyed licences airtime, far more than in print.
    It’s a medium well served by others and best left alone by newspaper groups.

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  • August 2, 2018 at 1:54 pm
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    Local broadcasters are doing a good enough job doing what they’re good at leaving the local paper to do theirs, they’re different mediums and not the get ”we can do it better” get rich quick schemes many thought they were. Believe me, Ofcom have made the right decision.

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  • August 2, 2018 at 7:00 pm
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    Sorry, but this: “The reality is that there is only one media locally which attends court hearings daily, council meetings, and works around the clock seven days a week to bring local news to people in the Potteries and surrounding areas and I’m very proud to say that is The Sentinel”… sounds an awful lot like an advertising feature.

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  • August 3, 2018 at 10:29 am
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    @exsportshack
    I thought the same, I also think the editor hasn’t grasped the difference between print and broadcast media,hyper local tv isn’t about trying to be a televised local ‘paper’ although some people seem to think it is and they can easily just do what they do now but on tv.
    Finding enough content of interest to fill their airtime from a very local area,attracting an audience for it and enough advertisers willing to pay to reach a small number of viewers have also been nails in the coffins of those who’ve tried and failed.

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  • August 6, 2018 at 12:42 pm
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    Actually, with the BBC struggling to break even, they might consider scapping regional TV altogether. It seems to serve very little purpose.

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