News from Europe

The BBC confirms religious programmes are important

The BBC celebrates a century of religious broadcasting and declares its commitment to faith programming.

Tim Pemberton, Head of Religion and Ethics for BBC Audio, and Daisy Scalchi, Head of Religion and Ethics for Television gave a joint interview confirming that BBC managers are “enthusiastic about religious programming,” despite ongoing budget cuts. Mr Pemberton emphasized the importance of religious broadcasting especially in a digital era. He also highlighted the enormous spiritual support believers received during the pandemic, when they were restrained from attending church service. He stated: “Religion is as relevant as it was 100 years ago. Whereas formal religion may decline over time… that’s different to people’s interest in religion and people’s engagement in spirituality.”

According to Ms Scalchi even though many people identify themselves as non-believers, it does not mean that religious programmes should decline: “They’re actually a really complex group of people who often are quite warm towards religion.”

The BBC is planning to expand their religious programmes to cater for their Christian audience. She highlighted Love, faith and me and Gareth Malone’s Easter passion as a cross-platform project introducing the Passion of Christ to a massive crowd of viewers. Ms Scalchi stated: “It brought the Passion story to a really broad audience. We’re making sure that that stays front and centre of our offering at Easter.”


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