News for the Region 

16 May 2022

All the ITV area programme companies present local news and news magazine programmes at about 1.20 p.m. and 6 p.m. from Monday to Friday, and most also provide local news after News at Ten. This feature shows some aspects of the news operation in the Anglia Television area. Jim Wilson, Anglia’s Head of News and Editor of news magazine About Anglia writes:



Cover of Television & Radio 1984

From Television & Radio 1984

Viewers have accepted the fact of a shrinking world, with pictures being bounced by satellite from continent to continent. As international news gets more and more immediate people also want to know more about what is happening in their own backyards, and in the same time scale too.

In the extensive East of England area are sited a range of provincial centres, all of them exercising a strong commercial and administrative ‘pull’ and evoking district community loyalties of their own. People resident in those county towns and cities and in the rural hinterland around the urban centres were seeking a closer identity with their regional TV station. At the grassroots of television, approachability, the opportunity to talk to the people who make the programmes, and the concept of a two-way interchange of ideas, views, comment and criticism are vital elements in a relationship which is lively and meaningful for the producers as well as the viewers. Anglia has catered for its audience’s growing appetite for regional coverage by developing a network of county news offices.

Anglia News Centres are located in a crescent towards the edge of the Anglia region, based at Peterborough, Northampton, Luton and Chelmsford. They are staffed by ENG (Electronic News Gathering) units able to react rapidly and prune down on previously slow film deadlines; reporters who are popular and prominent figures in their own communities; and receptionists who maintain a two-way contact with the public, dispensing information and receiving news of events, comments on programmes or requests for personal appearances.


A crew in Peterborough

About Anglia‘s Cambridgeshire News Centre reporter Greg Barnes on location in Peterborough.


People in a newsroom

The About Anglia newsroom in Norwich, one of the most up-to-date in ITV.

The News Centres are open five days a week, as mini newsrooms and as an open door offering virtually all the services to the viewer which are obtainable at the Anglia headquarters in Norwich. They are High Street off-shoots of the main studio.

The service the News Centres offer and the rapport with the public they seek to provide are emphasised through a continuing ‘on screen’ promotion campaign with the slogan ‘You’re a part of us, we’re a part of you!’.



Two men behind a news desk

Reporter Jeremy Payne interviewing in the Essex News Centre studio in Chelmsford.


A man in a bucket

Reporter and cameraman go aloft in a crane bucket for a bird’s eye view of King’s Lynn docks.


This policy has paid off handsomely by raising Anglia’s profile in areas which previously felt somewhat remote from the studio centre at Norwich. Success has been reflected in a hugely enhanced feedback of tip-offs, news, and above all in increased audience ratings, greater viewer involvement and higher appreciation levels.

The next step is to knit these centres even more closely to the main studios by means of permanent direction vision links. Not only will ENG pictures be able to be injected ‘live’, but use will also be made of the mini studios with which each centre is equipped. Ultimately this will bring a fresh new element of immediacy and cohesion to regional coverage. Engineering of these permanent links takes time, but the first, from Chelmsford, is about to be brought into operation, followed shortly by a direct link from Peterborough.

If the regions of ITV are to respond to a desire and a demand for fast, up-to-date coverage of matters directly affecting the communities in which their audiences live, then the technology, the approach, and above all, the contact between viewer and programme maker must develop to meet that expectation.



A man talks to another man on a motorbike

One of the team of despatch riders collects a news report from reporter Malcolm Brabant in Corby.


A man works at a video editing machine

Editing an ENG news tape.


Control room

The programme director and his production team in the studio vision control gallery.



Presenters Christine Webber and Graham Bell in the purpose-built About Anglia studio.


Two people reviewing a script

Newscasters John Bacon and Helen McDermott check news scripts.



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