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Religious broadcasting

12 September 2014


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 but welcomed.

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