C4 chief claims Southerners dominate news

Channel 4's director of nations and regions, Stuart Cosgrove, has accused the south of England of having an "exponential influence" on decision making that often means newsworthy stories go unreported.

At the session entitled "Small Voices in a Big World", panellists including Ken MacQuarrie, controller of BBC Scotland, and Victor de la Serna from Spanish daily El Mundo, spoke about the impact of globalisation and media consolidation.

Speaking of the different ways in which the murders of Stephen Lawrence in south London and of a young Sikh called Surjit Singh Chhokar in Motherwell were covered, Cosgrave said: "One managed to seriously engage the attention of the network media across the whole of the UK and the other didn't. In a sense the media's day-to-day practices determined which life story was deemed to be worth more airtime."

He said that the fact that the Lawrence trial occurred near the Westminster media village played a significant part in determining how much coverage the story received.

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