BBC to increase non-Christian religious broadcasting

Posted: Mon, 14 Nov 2016

BBC to increase non-Christian religious broadcasting

After criticising itself for devoting too much of its religious broadcasting to Christianity, the BBC is to consider increasing its religious broadcasting to allow more time for minority faiths.

Religious leaders have been invited by BBC director-general Lord Hall to "join discussions about plans for multi-faith coverage," the Times reported.

The Muslim Council of Britain has asked the BBC to consider broadcasting Islamic prayers.

The Times reported that an increase in broadcasting for minority faiths "would not be at the expense of Christian output" suggesting the BBC will move towards an overall increase in religious programming.

A BBC source told the Independent: "The BBC will do more to represent faiths across the board, and has specifically rejected the notion of in any way diminishing what it does around Christianity."

Another BBC source told the Times that "Faith is remarkably important. The BBC can and must do more to ensure that the important role faith plays is recognised and reflected in our programming."

NSS campaigns director Stephen Evans said: "It's not the job of the BBC to promote religion. By ignoring the fact that religious broadcasting is the least popular genre amongst its viewers, the BBC risks alienating the non-religious majority.

"There are numerous niche channels offering round-the-clock religious programming for people that want that sort of thing. There is no need for the BBC to ramp up religious programming that few people are interested in. Increasing the total amount of religious broadcasting will simply mean producing more content that very few people enjoy or watch.

"There is a place for informative and thought-provoking religious programming that reflects the religion and belief demographics in the UK, but simply broadcasting acts of worship or religious messages would be the totally wrong approach."

Tags: BBC