From the Revd Dr Robert Marshall
Sir, - The nomination of Rona Fairhead as the new Chair of the
BBC Trust was made as negotiations continue towards a new Royal
Charter in 2016. It provides food for thought for those concerned
about the future of religious broadcasting.
The digital age sits uneasily with the model of public-service
broadcasting that many of us have grown up with. People now choose
when and what to watch and listen to. The audience expresses itself
and is no longer passive. Advertising revenues and subscription
models look much more exciting and dynamic alongside a still-frozen
TV-licence income stream that increasingly represents remarkable
value for money.
This is a moment for the Church of England to adopt a much more
collaborative approach to the future of the BBC. Those of us
concerned about the sheer survival of public-service broadcasting
in a digital context should express our support and make our voices
heard. We should work with and alongside the BBC in advocating a
healthy market-place in public-service broadcasting.
Religion is just one of many tranches of programming that will
be increasingly under threat if effective funding models for
public-service broadcasting into the future are not only embraced
East Ham Team Office
292b Barking Road
London E6 3BA