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Religion and the Media - questions and answers.

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Introduction

Verity Aldridge. 10:A Religion and the Media Coursework. 1ai): Today's Terrestrial television presents many different varieties of programs for its viewers. There are different styles of programs for certain days and time periods. When religious broadcasting first became known on terrestrial television the main target audience was Christians; Christians who regularly went to church and accepted the traditional church beliefs. Most of the religious broadcasting on terrestrial television today is closely related to Christianity. This is because Christianity is the main religion of the British community, and has been for many years. Although, as time has passed the viewers of religious programs have changed. With a new audience come different views on religion. Today the religious styles of programs found on terrestrial television are targeted towards people who are classed as being 'vaguely religious'. The name 'vaguely religious' is given to the large group of people who attend church for such events like: weddings, funerals, christenings, etc. and who feel God has some purpose or existence. The BBC aim to answer questions for their viewers by displaying many programs of different varieties all of which are built around three very important questions; 'Where have we come from?', 'Why are we here?' and 'How should we live?' These three questions provoke people to think about the importance of religion and they help them to explore the different ways in which people try to answer them, whether it is through worship, prayer or simply giving food for thou The BBC offers many religious programs through different formats. There are: documentaries, comedies, dramas, soaps, films, magazine talk shows and many more. The variation in format makes religion seem quite appealing to those who aren't even 'vaguely religious'. Although some comedies have religious themes they are still appealing to teenagers and families who are not interested in religion. This change in broadcasting has meant that there has been a decline in sincerely religious programs found on terrestrial television. ...read more.

Middle

Many people settle with family to watch Emmerdale or Eastenders without realizing the depth behind the issues raised by the characters. Some issues relate directly to Christianity and the church, whereas others find the answers they need from Christianity. The issue I have chosen to study has been taken from a collection of episodes from the soap opera Eastenders. The issue is of aborting an unborn baby by choice. The two main characters, Ricky and Bianca Butcher have conceived a child. They are in a stable, loving marriage and are pleased by the news of their first child. Each of them discusses how overwhelmed they are about the expected baby with close friends. At one point Bianca says 'we will love this little monster, what ever it is.' This seems ironic because, once they know that their baby has spina bifida and hydrocephalus their feelings towards the foetus change. They still claim that they love their baby, however do not know if keeping her is the best thing to do. Each of them wanted time alone to think, which is understandable in the situation. They both demonstrated their emotions clearly and sensitively whilst being confused. Once again Ricky and Bianca spoke with close friends who offered advice and to be someone to listen to how they actually felt. Their close friends asked realistic questions which provoked Ricky and Bianca to consider things that hadn't crossed their own minds. They considered the unborn baby's quality of life before they thought of how it would affect them. Ricky turned to his friend Phil for someone to talk to and Bianca Grant; Grant and Phil are brothers. Even though they are brothers they do not share the same line of thought upon the matter. Grant talks to Bianca about how his wife and himself would support both her and Ricky with the child if they have it and how they would cope successfully. While in contrast Phil was asking questions like 'do you really need the bother?' ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though there are no direct links to Christianity the film is built around a Christian structure. 1b): Many characters in the variety of shows screened on terrestrial television today are seen by many as 'out of touch'. By this we mean that they are not willing to accept change and wish to stick by their true traditional views and ideas. With today's world ever changing it means that 'out of touch' people are consequently made more distinct and are criticized more. Society today does not wait for people to catch up, and is leaving those who have pessimistic ideas behind. The changing world is ready for change and is so accepting change that is for the better. Quite simply someone who is 'in touch' is the opposite to an 'out of touch' person. If they are 'in-touch' then they can appreciate things that are changing. I would look upon people like the Pope and Michael Willis as people who are 'out of touch' for the reasons that they prefer to stick to the truly traditional views and that they have conservative opinions. Some fictional people in today's world who I would see as being 'out of touch' are Dot Cotton (from Eastenders) and Harold Bishop (from Neighbors), I think this because they are both slightly older and the television programs that they are in portray them as being too old to know any better. People like Geraldine Granger (from the Vicar of Dibley) and Ned Flanders (from The Simpson's) are seen as being 'in-touch' because they can bring humor into religion. Both characters are able to relate to the way in which the world is changing and do not dwell upon the past. The well-known sports man Jonathon Edwards is an Olympic medal holder many times over in his area of sport, the triple jump. Jonathon Edwards has made his religion of Christianity an important factor of his life, with the issues being things that are of great meaning and importance to him. His sporting career is something that relates to his religion in some ways but not in others. ...read more.

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