Select Committee on BBC Charter Review Written Evidence

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 and comment.

  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

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