`Religion-specific broadcasting` Google this phrase and come up

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
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
The definition comes from OfCom – The
Office of Communication, who determine the
suitable range and quality of such
Edges – Mel Fletcher (premier tv)
Songs of Praise
A History of Christianity
The Monastery
An Island Parish
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
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
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
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?