BBC Breakfast viewers were shocked this week by the programme’s decision to exclude regional newspapers.
The daily news program, run by Dan Walker and Louise Minchin, typically cuts across various studios to broadcast local news based on the location of the audience.
But when BBC Breakfast returned to television screens after a two-week hiatus, while the channel covered the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the segment was not brought back.
Viewers took to social media and complained they were unable to keep up with the latest news in their region, contacting BBC Breakfast on Twitter for a response.
The BBC explained why the regular section is missing, saying the Covid-19 pandemic is causing problems for regional news teams.
Why is there no local news on BBC Breakfast?
The BBC, like many businesses, is facing staff shortages due to the ‘pygmia’ of the coronavirus.
Broadcasters said they are “implementing short-term measures” to help protect local television news services during peak hours.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Like employers in all sectors of the economy, we are facing an unprecedented workforce shortage due to COVID. Barring a few exceptions, we have maintained normal services so far.
Our priority is to protect the most popular newscasts; Regional newspaper on BBC One at 6.30pm. To do this, we are implementing short-term measures to reduce the pressure on our teams. “
What does change mean for the audience?
The changes meant that some viewers would not be able to watch local TV programs broadcast throughout the summer period, and in some areas their evening news broadcasts could be replaced by neighboring areas.
Which areas are affected?
While English viewers are no longer expected to receive local updates, Scottish, Irish and Welsh viewers will still have access to regional coverage.
When will the local newspapers return?
The BBC told viewers that they can expect regionals to return in September.
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