As a public service broadcaster ITV Meridian has continued to provide regional news coverage, throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
We make sure important government information and messaging is accessible to viewers, in both TV broadcasts and in our online coverage. We also ask questions of those in power and hold them to account.
Staff at ITV Meridian are classed as key workers and we have been out in our communities bringing viewers stories from right across our region. Stories that have effected every part of society, from our hospital's and care homes to schools and businesses.
In order to fulfil this role responsibly, we've had to adapt to a completely new way of working.
How has ITV Meridian adapted?
The 6pm flagship programme is currently pan-regional, covering the South, South East and Thames Valley, in one half hour.
For the first time ITV Meridian is anchored from our studio by one presenter - Sangeeta Bhabra. Her co-presenter, Fred Dinenage, is broadcasting from home along with many of our reporters and our weather forecaster, Holly Green. Technology has enabled them all to be part of the show every night.
It's not just reporters and presenters who are at home, the majority of our staff are too. We are operating our studio and newsroom with a very small number of journalists and technical specialists.
Those who are in have to observe strict social distancing guidelines at all times. A one-way system prevents people coming too close to one another and everyone has their own workspace. Each desk is more than two-metres apart.
When news gathering, the same strict social distancing rules apply.
On screen journalist's use an extended microphone, to ensure there is a two-metre gap between themselves and interviewees.
Meanwhile, the majority of interviews are now conducted online and footage is often provided by the interviewees themselves.
Alison Nice, Head of News
The news industry is incredibly important for ensuring trusted, accurate and non-bias information is broadcast to the public.
According to ITV statistics, ITV regional news averaged 4.6 million viewers in the week Boris Johnson announced the lockdown on March 23rd.
This was an increase by more than 10% on the previous week.
viewers watched ITV regional news during the week of 23rd March.
Andrew Pate, Reporter
We're going to continue to provide reliable local news and to keep you up-to-date with changes to the lockdown and the pandemic as it happens. Our shows will also carry on celebrating the acts of kindness that are happening in our communities and show how local people are coming together to help others.
If you have a story for us or would like to get in touch with us: