Homework – using iplayer/channel4.com or a Christian tv website watch any one religious specific programme in full. Produce a full length essay discussing its content, style and likely audience. Lesson 15 To consider what ‘religious specific broadcasting’ is. To look at key features of this type of broadcasting. To consider some examples. A definition: • "A religious programme is a programme which deals with matters of religion as the central subject, or as a significant part, of the programme". (that could relate to study of its history, beliefs and practises, or to acts of worship) The definition comes from OfCom – The Office of Communication, who determine the suitable range and quality of such programmes. Edges – Mel Fletcher (premier tv) Songs of Praise A History of Christianity The Monastery Revelations An Island Parish Highway Religious specific broadcasting is not the most popular form of broadcasting. As part of its review of public service broadcasting Ofcom asked viewers what types of programming they most valued on the terrestrial channels. Of the 17 genres identified religious broadcasting came 16th. Yet, at the same time, it is considered the most controversial genre in broadcasting, especially post 9.11. Broadcasters are concerned to get it right – it’s very easy to get it wrong. The OfCom report of 2005 noted that there were three main types of religious programming being asked for by the viewing public: Worship style programmes – it was felt it did not always have to be Christian but should reflect a multi-faith society. Viewers wanted to see interviews of people of faith and considering its impact on the wider world. eg – Songs of Praise – the only religious specific programme shown at peak viewing time in Europe Informative programming – programmes that inform people about religious issues and faith in the modern world. They need to be objective and to counteract the stereotypes peddled by the tabloids. Eg – Revelations. A History of Christianity Inclusion in mainstream programming Religion playing a role in programmes not specifically dedicated to it. Surveys suggest that many people feel this is not done well (that soaps stereotype believers, for example) and needed to be more accurate. The use of soaps was, however, highlighted as an excellent way of transmitting information about moral and religious messages – because it is so effective, it needs to be done well and seriously. So what might be the key features of religious specific broadcasting? – They may be on at specific times (Sunday evening – Songs of Praise for example; or specific periods in the rleigious calendar(Ramadan) Often very specific content – if they’re on digital tv they well be in a particular language and focused entirely on a particular community (many evangelical Christian channels on digital tv/ some Muslim) May be multi-cultural or deal with issues relating to different faith groups Factual Educational Provide a social network for believers – link people into a worshipping group Documentary in style with voiceovers and talking heads/fly on the wall May explore aspects of a faith-group’s history They should be objective and fair in their representation – which does not mean they can’t be controversial Has television become the new church?