Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 10:41 UK

Watchdog faces TV news questions

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Ofcom will visit the Borders to discuss ITV's plans

The television watchdog Ofcom is to visit the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway to explain its support for ITV newsroom mergers.

Under the plans the current Border TV and Tyne Tees areas would be combined in a base at Gateshead.

The move has prompted political concerns in the south of Scotland.

Vicki Nash of Ofcom said it wanted to encourage people to come to the meetings in Hawick on 20 October and Dumfries the following day.

She said it was important for the watchdog to outline why it was likely to give the go-ahead to the plans.

"I will be coming along with my team to talk about why Ofcom has come to the decision that it has," she said.

"It is minded to go ahead with the suggestion from ITV that it should merge its newsrooms in Cumbria and Tyne Tees."

She stressed the proposals would still see six minutes of dedicated daily south of Scotland news.

"I think it is important I take viewers through the arguments but also hear their concerns and encourage them to reply to our consultation which closes on 4 December," she said.

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