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Religion and the Media

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Describe, Analyse and Explain the Variety of Specifically Religious Programmes on the Four Main Channels When religious programming first began it was aimed, almost exclusively, at a strictly Christian audience. However, over the years this has changed in that more programmes are being aimed at the vaguely religious, non-religious as well as religious people of all faiths. This means that the programmes appeal to a wider audience including religious people from all religions who cannot attend church for whatever reason, people who are undecided about whether or not there is a God and the non-religious. In the future broadcasters aim to devote more airtime to programmes for the ethnic minorities. However, this could cause problems for the BBC who need to attract 20 percent of a viewing audience at any given time because ethnic minorities only form 5 percent of the British population. Making the programmes interesting for non-religious people as well could solve this. BBC religion wants to help people to understand where we have come from, why we are here and how we should live. They want to explore how different people understand this to help others find answers. Channel 4's aim for religious broadcasts is to give them more peak time slots and one-off programmes whilst making them less religious and instead focusing more on personal beliefs which affect people everyday. ...read more.


The Heaven and Earth Show focuses on a variety of religions and trying to establish links between them by visiting religious sites which are significant to more than one religion. It presents a wide variety of different viewpoints on faith and it gives viewers the opportunity to submit their views through telephone discussions or e-mailing and texting. They look at religious and moral issue in the media and ask specialists for their views on these issues. Sometimes, the specialists have religious views but not always. The discussions between people with opposing views can get quite argumentative and heated but it is usually kept light-hearted and not too serious. They also have celebrities being interviewed about their families and personal beliefs. The programme watched dealt with all of the issues presented light-heartedly. Through the Heaven and Earth Show was the best way to deal with the issues because it meant that a variety of religions can view it, including agnostic people, and not be offended. The Heaven and Earth Show is shown on Sunday Mornings for an hour at 10:00 or 10:30. This shows that its target audience is people from any age group from any religion. However, it makes it harder for strictly religious church attendees to view the programme because this is when the majority of church services take place. ...read more.


It shows religious believers as being traditional, old and not normal, whilst also being sexist towards Geraldine, the new priest, and how non-believers have stereotypical views about religious believers. Using a comedy to deal with this subject was a good choice because people are more likely to watch a comedy and then remember its content than a documentary. When The Vicar of Dibley was filmed, female priests were a new idea which was the cause of much controversy within the church so showing it in a comedy gave people the advantages and disadvantages in a light-hearted manner so they can create their own opinion on the matter. It is aimed at teenagers to the middle-aged from all beliefs as well as non-believers and the partially religious; it will not offend anyone. It is a successful; programme. This is shown through the fact that it has been on primetime viewing, at around 8:30-9:30 for eleven years and specials are filmed for times like Christmas and it is released on DVD and video. Through these programmes, issues can be presented in a variety of different ways to suit different audiences. However, they all allow for individual opinions to be formed. Some of them are aimed at one religion but others are designed for a wide variety of viewer. Hannah Smith Religion and the Media May 2005 - 1 - ...read more.

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