Granada Reports head of news Lucy West and Isle of Man reporter Joshua Stokes threw light on how the regional news show is covering the coronavirus pandemic at an RTS Isle of Man event in early October.
Unlike the currently highly infectious North West of England, the Isle of Man has been free of Covid-19 since the start of June.
“It’s a global pandemic but the Isle of Man has had its own story. We’re the first place in the British Isles that removed social distancing…It’s been a unique experience,” said Stokes, who is in his first TV job.
“I’m so lucky to have a job here at the right time… on a story this big.”
Stokes described the self-governing island as “bizarrely brilliant… for a journalist, regardless of the pandemic, the Isle of Man in general is a fantastic patch to work on”.
The Isle of Man forms just 1% of the North West’s TV audience, but it has featured frequently in Granada Reports’ coverage of the pandemic. “The stories we choose are the ones we think are going to resonate with our viewers, wherever they live,” said West.
“Both ourselves and the BBC locally have seen amazing ratings. Between the two of us, on average, we’re seeing half a million people tuning in every night. It shows there’s a real hunger for people to understand the latest [news] coming out of government, what the changes are in terms of where they can and can’t go, and when they have to self-isolate.”
‘ITV News and the Isle of Man’ was held on 2 October and hosted by former Granada and BBC North West correspondent Paul Moulton.