Borderers still frozen out of referendum coverage

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has condemned broadcasters for continuing to leave Borderers frozen out of the referendum TV coverage.

The South Scotland MSP has written to Michael Jermey, Director of News, Current Affairs and Sport at ITV, condemning ITV Borders for leaving some people living in the area unable to watch the Scotland Tonight programme on welfare featuring Nicola Sturgeon and Anas Sarwar. This was the same situation as STV's series Road to Referendum broadcast in June.

Many areas in the Borders do not have access to Scottish programming, creating a situation where those closest bordering England have truncated access to the independence debate.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:

“At such an important political juncture in Scotland’s history I do not intend to give in and accept that simply by virtue of geography, viewers on the Scottish side of the ITV Border region should be denied the same access to referendum coverage as someone who, for example, lives 20 miles away in Edinburgh.

“People in the Borders have exactly the same rights as people in the rest of the country in seeing all types of referendum coverage.

“Some Borderers are at a disadvantage being denied access to programming that the rest of the country is receiving to inform the debate.

“Having previously discussed this with ITV I was assured they would continue to talk to STV about programming they produce and take a view on a case-by-case basis whether to broadcast the same programme on ITV Border.

“I would be interested to know how the decision not to broadcast this particular programme was reached.”