• By Ian Axton, Head of News

ITV is a public service broadcaster and we’re proud to be delivering our programmes and online news service at a time when trusted and impartial news is more important than ever before.

Like many other organisations, we’ve had to adapt how we work to ensure we get the balance right between staying on-air and online, looking after our staff and observing the social distancing advice.

The Government has designated ITV West Country staff as key workers – as a public service broadcaster they see us as essential to getting their announcements, messages and decisions out to the public quickly and accurately. That’s why we’re still at work when other businesses have been asked to close. That’s why you’ll occasionally see our reporters and crew out and about as they continue to newsgather.

Here’s how we’ve adapted what you see on air:

  • Our 6pm programme and our regular news bulletins now cover the whole of the South West. You’ll see news for a larger geographic area than usual.

  • Our 6pm programme is now fronted by one presenter instead of two.

  • The duration of our lunchtime and weekend news bulletins is shorter than normal.

Credit: ITV West Country
Credit: ITV West Country

Behind the scenes there’s change as well. Many of our reporters are now working from home, news gathering at their laptops and interviewing people over video call.

We’re also asking contributors to film some footage for us. When we do meet people face to face, we’re respecting all the social distancing advice.

We’ve also reduced the number of people we bring into our studio and newsroom each day - and those who are in, are social distancing.

Credit: ITV West Country
Credit: ITV West Country

These are difficult times for us all and I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well.

There are lots of ways for you to get in touch with the ITV News West Country team:

  • Telephone: 0844 88 12413

  • Email: westcountry@itv.com

  • You can also get in touch through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

  • If you would like to send weather pictures, the email address is: westcountryweather@itv.com