Memorandum by L Czaplewski
The BBC is extremely biased in favour of religious
content in their programming and faith is over-represented in
the BBC's programmes and services.
The BBC Charter should establish fair representation
on all programme time devoted to belief. The first choice is to
believe or not to believe in a faith system. It should therefore
be 50/50 airtime with those who choose to believe sharing their
50 per cent of the airtime according to the numbers of people
who actively practice their religion as opposed to the numbers
of religion by birth or school.
Thought for the Day, an excellent thought-provoking
concept that addresses moral issues of the day has never had a
secular speaker. The programme is missing a wealth of potential
speakers from all walks of life and perspectives.
There should be a huge debate on whether it
is right to have an established Church of England that offers
significant privilege to non-elected individuals.
The BBC fails to treat religion with any independent
investigative journalism. It is not wrong to question religion
or people's religious beliefs. Not all belief systems are benign
and those, which are not privately held, should be open to review
The extent of the BBC bias was clear over the
death and election of the pope. These were events that were of
no interest to the majority of the people in the UK.
The BBC frequently lines up religious leaders
to comment on events and then never questions them in the way
that interviewers would question politicians.
The BBC never questions politicians over their
religious beliefs, affiliations, influences etc.
The BBC has adopted the language of the religious
in their description of religious schools as faith-schools. Balanced
reporting might allow a wider range of adjectives to be used to
describe them such as sectarian- or apartheid-schools.
When muslim leaders condemned the London suicide
bombers they frequently described innocent-victims. This is code
to their followers that they recognise legitimate targets that
should be killed. The BBC never challenges them.
Faiths should not be specifically represented
in BBC programmes, services and governance. The BBC should run
programmes and services its feels right at the time in a way that
is blind to faith. It should choose high quality governors that
help its business. Anybody who tries to introduce a faith agenda
should be disqualified from the BBC because it introduces bias.
The BBC should realise that Faith is not necessarily
good and should use its excellent journalistic instincts to see
its way through this quagmire with independence from religious
minority pressure groups.
10 October 2005