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Religion And The Media Essay

1540 words - 6 pages

Religion and the Media

In the world we live in today people have revolutionized the image of
religion, so that it is now regarded as a pastime instead of it solely
being about God. In today's world media has evolved to be much more
powerful than religion, and therefore some say that media is taken
more seriously.

After observation of the TV channels broadcasting specific religious
programmes, I saw that all terrestrial TV channels had at least one
hour a week of religious programmes. The government issues the license
enabling TV companies to broadcast, and has a significant role in
deciding on what has to be shown. In each TV channels broadcasting
charter it is stated that they must "provide an average of at least
two hours a week of religious programmes." This means that if a TV
channel does not show this minimum amount their license could be

It is very obvious why the government is concerned about religion in
the UK since only 48 per cent of UK residents claim to belong to a
religion, compared to 89 per cent in the United States and 92 per cent
in Italy. Also two-thirds of 18-24 year olds in the UK, say that they
have no religious affiliation compared to just a quarter in Spain.

Nearly all religious programmes are aired at non-prime time slots,
with the exception only being Songs of Praise on Sundays from
17.45-18.15. This suggests that the TV companies see broadcasting
religious programmes as something they must to do, and not something
they wish to do. We see further evidence of this by Reverend Ernest
Rea words, who was the head of religion and ethics at the BBC. Revd
Ernest Rea explains that "religion is rarely the priority in the minds
of the movers and shakers who commission the programmes." Later on in
the passage he goes on to describe the programme controllers as
"people who regard religion as a little more than an amusing but
outdated phenomenon." The bottom line is, if the programme controllers
regard religion as "amusing," they will simply portray it in very much
the same way. I personally am totally against this due to the simple
fact that the media is taken advantage of its power.

Although the media regards religion as "outdated" and "amusing," their
broadcasting schedule does coincide with the multicultural society in
the UK. Examples of these programmes are "Marrying a Stranger" and
"Rooted" which were both aired in November 2002. "Marrying a Stranger"
which was aired at 21.00-22.00 (prime time), illustrates the struggle
for young Muslims to both satisfy their parents needs and their own.
"Rooted" which was aired at 11.55-12.30 (non-prime time), presented
Indian children taken back and introduced both to their country of
origin and their religion (Sikhism).

The Broadcasting companies also show reflection-style programmes for

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