Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Manx people 'feel short-changed' by the BBC, MHK says

Isle of Man Parliamentary Buildings Image copyright MANX SCENES
Image caption Council of Ministers is negotiating with the BBC over "improved outcomes" for the Isle of Man

People on the Isle of Man feel "short-changed" by the BBC, an MHK has said.

Daphne Caine called on the Manx government to pursue "adequate portrayal of the Isle of Man and its whole cultural identity" by the corporation.

Policy and Reform Minister Chris Thomas said a recent meeting with the BBC had been "extremely constructive".

A BBC spokesman said a fourth island-based reporter would be recruited to "expand our existing resource".

The Council of Ministers is in talks with the organisation about securing "improved outcomes" for the island.

Speaking in Tynwald, Mr Thomas said the additional reporter would "further enhance coverage".

The Isle of Man and the Channel Islands were treated as if they were "part of the England nation for the purposes of the Royal Charter," he added.

But Mrs Caine said the islands "feel they're very much not part of England", and the coverage should feature more than "just politics".

Image copyright IOM GOV
Image caption Policy and Reform Minister Chris Thomas made a statement in Tynwald about his first meeting with the BBC

She continued: "For our own culture and identity to be reflected properly, for the licence fee that all households are paying, it does feel like we are being very much short-changed."

Mr Thomas said the "cultural and social aspects" of island life were "just as important" as the world of business, law and politics.

He added: "That came very much across in the meeting that we had."

Further talks would take place in November, he said.

A BBC spokesman said: "We're pleased we'll soon be recruiting a political reporter based on the Isle of Man.

"This exciting new role will expand our existing resource and help us explain and scrutinise even more the work of Tynwald and other public bodies.

"We already have three journalists on the island and fund a Local Democracy Reporter there though our Local News Partnerships."

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