2. Supplementary memorandum submitted
by the British Broadcasting Corporation
Further to the oral evidence given by Mark Easton
and Claire Powell last week, there were two areas where we were
asked for additional notes.
Firstly, the Chairman wanted more information
on the question of our screening of "Jerry Springer: The
Opera", in particular whether we would show anything
which may cause offence to religions other than Christianity.
What we decide to broadcast depends very much
on quality and context. For example, we did not broadcast "Popetown"
because it failed to pass the quality test. We do not feel that
"Jerry Springer: The Opera" is blasphemous, though
we recognise the potential for religious offence, hence the clear
warnings that were given. It is inevitable that in Britain artists,
writers and authors are currently more likely to depict or reflect
themes which derive from our Judaeo-Christian heritage and culture.
But that may well change as writers emerge from other faith traditions.
The test of what we broadcast will always depend on the merit
of their work. We exist to bring the best of British talent to
Given that the BBC broadcasts many hours of
material every year reflecting the beliefs, worship and activities
of the major religious traditions, including evangelical Christianity,
we would not accept that evangelical Christians are either marginalised
Mr Taylor wanted to know about the rules governing
the coverage of arrests under the Terrorism Act. There are no
different rules for reporting arrests under the Terrorism Act.
We obey the same contempt rules as for all other potential offences.
17 January 2005