Having long ceased to buy a local or national newspaper or watch TV news, in favour of hearing radio headlines and reading a serious online paper, it was a surprise to find, by chance, a serious informative TV news bulletin at 9.30, devoid of the minutes wasted on fanfare and giving the news without repetition or presentational gimmicks.
The station was called Big Centre TV and an online search revealed that it was the local TV channel for Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Solihull and The Black Country, which broadcasts on Freeview channel 8.
According to Wikipedia, Big Centre TV, launched in February 2015, is transmitted from the Sutton Coldfield and Brierley Hill antennae to an estimated audience of 2.3m viewers on Freeview.
It is owned by Kaleidoscope TV Ltd, a Midlands-based voluntary organisation which specialises in locating previously missing, believed lost, television footage and coordinates ITV’s Raiders of the Lost Archives campaign through its website at www.lostshows.com.
Big Centre TV’s headquarters are at Walsall Studio School in the West Midlands. The studio school, for 14-19 year olds, enables young people to achieve industry-recognised qualifications, build relationships with employers and get into employment or university. Big Centre TV uses the school’s state-of-the-art technical facilities and students train alongside experienced TV broadcasting professionals.
It is said to offer a wide range of genuinely local content featuring live news, sport, entertainment and children’s programming and – though a less than favourable report was published by the Birmingham Mail – the writer found its 9.30pm Midlands news programme last night infinitely preferable to others and will watch or record it if the standard is maintained. The Mail did refer to sound quality and the sound was low, though clear, during the first half of the programme, but this was rectified.
The selection and sheer volume of interesting local news more than made up for this and readers who want information are urged to try it, if they have not already done so.