Media bill UK governmentwhich was published at the end of March, was a source of concern for the British, as it could significantly limit specifically Christian content.
Television networks are defined as “public service broadcasters”, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which has provided a wide range of programming – including education, sports, Social issues and religion – It can be replaced by “a sufficient amount of audiovisual content”.
This content, to be stipulated by the government, will be limited to “topics which reflect the lives and interests of the various communities, interests and cultural traditions within the United Kingdom”.
The bill is the result of the “White Paper on What’s Next: The Government’s Vision for the Broadcasting Sector”, which sets out on how to fulfill the public service mandate to meet the needs and interests of as wide an audience as possible.
According to the Church Times, the content should be “appropriate to facilitate civic understanding and fair and informed debate on news and current affairs in various parts of the UK and around the world”.
Religious programs will not be protected
“This means that audiences can easily access and enjoy high-quality content from British sources and enable this content to project British values globally,” the white paper called.
The Sandford St Martin Trust, which has awarded annual awards to the best programming on religion, morality and spirituality since 1978, has welcomed moves to update existing broadcasting legislation. But he warned that the bill “will not protect or guarantee the future of essential content in public broadcasting services such as religious and moral programmes”.
For critics, this is a clear sign that “the headwinds facing our radio and television broadcasters are mounting”. Competition is increasing, audience habits and technology are constantly changing, and global giants are making their presence felt.
Freedom of expression and religion are at stake
Tony Stoller, a writer who advocates for freedom of expression and religion, asked, “Who will do the review and what procedures will they use to ensure that the public gets the content they deserve?”
“To ignore religion is to leave a hole in the heart of the public broadcasting service,” said the Sandford St Martin Trust.
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