BBC reduces the amount of religion it broadcasts

BBC reduces the amount of religion it broadcasts September 14, 2013

From the National Secular Society:

The BBC has published its annual report which shows that the amount of time devoted to religion on the various BBC platforms has reduced over the past year.

In the 2012/2013 period BBC1 broadcast 99 hours of religion as opposed to 102 hours in the previous year. The only channel to show a rise in the number of hours of religious broadcasting was BBC2 which went up from 27 hours in the 2011/2012 period to 47 hours in the latest period.

BBC4 showed a significant drop from 53 hours last year to only 5 hours this year.

On BBC Radio the number of hours devoted to religion went down from 1,211 last year to 975 hours this year.

Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, said: “It is good that the BBC is taking notice of its audiences at last — who according to its own research don’t regard religion as an important genre and hardly ever watch it. This small reduction in hours is welcome, but it still represents an awful lot of religion.”

Mr Sanderson said that it wasn’t clear whether the BBC’s figures included such things as the church service for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral (which was broadcast in full) or the service of thanksgiving for the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation. These appear to be extra to the official religious figures in the annual report.

Mr Sanderson said he welcomed a more imaginative approach to religion and a more critical examination of it. “It is impossible to ignore the part that religion is negative.”

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  • Daydreamer1

    I would welcome an extra 1000 hours if they were objective and critical, featuring a real historical, scientific and philosophical inspection.

    It seems that over time religious people have so given up on their religion that they now accept there is nothing left to do but just keep on believing it. Gone is the history of thinking any God had actually done anything tangible and demonstrable.

    I think I will keep on battling to the point where a non-believer is allowed to get on thought for the day and discuss why quality of life can be improved without need to adopt philosophies that demean reality in an attempt to support fiction.

    • Good to have you back DD!

      I think there should be more programmes like Big Questions, but without rushing it. Proper in depth discussions. In fact, they should just employ me to talk for an hour on one point with someone who I vehemently disagree with!!!

      Sadly, I think that would be my dream job…..

      Such a geek…

      • Daydreamer1

        Hi Johnathan,

        Hope you are well. Sorry I haven’t been around. I’m on a mobile connection quite often (when working away from home) and disqus often won’t load the comments (even though I am on a 3G connection). Sometimes I log on, but cannot comment. So I have been around a little more often than I have posted – though I’ve still been away a bit more than usual.

        Out of interest for the posts you’ve previously asked me to write how would I get them to you?

        Anyway, I probably feel the same. I have no problem with religion on the TV, it is just that it is usually the same as the churches and if I wanted that I would go to church. I have no need to be preached at and told that that is what religious broadcasting should be about. Here we have a subject that could do with a great deal of quality programming. I am willing to bet that it is a lot like politics. Time and again we hear about voter apathy, but then we get research published showing that interest in politics is actually at an all time high and that really people just don’t like the political parties. We hear that large numbers of people are apathetic about religion, but I think the broadcasters are not willing to give people what they want, which is programs highly critical about religion.

        – I don’t think it is just reverence or wish to not offend either, since society tackles other subjects without worry. There is a definite relationship with danger here. Politicians are not entirely silly when they leave the subject alone, and the existence of laws to police heavy handed verbal religious criticism obviously point to the existence of a special requirement for them. Yet the requirement can only come from religious people themselves, proof, as it were, of an ever present relationship with darkness in religion emergent, I would argue, from its irresponsible treatment and promotion of our passions in its own direction. You simply cannot create nonsense and make people pin their lives and personal meaning on it and then expect their to be no repercussions in a wider society that is willing to point it out; we do not work that way and it is irresponsible to engage in it when reality can be adopted without loss except to those organisations economically invested in maintaining the deception at all costs.

        • I hate the idea that one can’t heavily criticise ideas. That is a failsafe memetic mechanism which insulates ideas and worldviews from analysis.