BBC RE:THINK 2012: What Does Britain Believe?

Wednesday 12 September 2012, 09:23

Aaqil Ahmed Aaqil Ahmed Head of Religion & Ethics

Tagged with:

Over the past few years I have noticed how religion as a subject has crept into more and more debates and festivals with one exception, the media.

TV festivals in particular have a strange ostrich-like relationship with the subject but the country as a whole doesn't seem to agree. For them it's here in our lives and it needs to be understood, debated and packaged in a way best suited for their changing needs and tastes.

That's the genesis of BBC RE:THINK 2012. It's an attempt to fuse the growing interest in the subject if not necessarily the practise of religion with how it's reported on television, radio and online. Not only is it clearly a space that the BBC, as the largest provider of religion & ethics programming, should occupy but also what better place to hold it than in the heart of its religious production community, BBC North in Salford

Taking part in and attending BBC RE: THINK 2012 will be other broadcasters, independent producers, journalists, academics, clergy, opinion formers and members of the public. It's a unique opportunity to bring all of us together for the first time.

Across the two days there should be something for everyone. From a must-watch conversation between the Chief Rabbi and Richard Dawkins, festival specials of The Moral Maze and The Big Questions to standing room-only master classes from Bettany Hughes and Jeremy Bowen there should be something for everyone.
 
The diverse nature of the subjects covered will help us explore the festivals strap line 'What does Britain believe?' Academic and broadcaster Robert Beckford will chair a panel that explores exactly this question in relation to the views of young people. This debate will reveal the findings of a startling survey commissioned for the festival. It reveals that 59% of 16-24 year olds believe that looking after family was the most important moral issue for them. Only 4% said having religious faith or beliefs was the most important moral issue.

The respondents were asked to rank eight issues in order of importance, religious faith or belief was considered to be least important  by almost one third (32%) of the respondents. This was followed by 22% who said buying ethical products was the least important, and 15% who put paying taxes at the bottom of their moral list.

Radio, TV and online programming is also central to the festival - from last weekends episodes of Sunday on BBC Radio 4 and Sunday morning live on BBC One (both still available on  the BBC iPlayer) debating the findings of the BBC RE:THINK 2012 survey to a new three part series on BBC Two, Dead Good Job, launching on the 12th of September at 9pm. This series looks at the burial business in 21st century Britain and explores how many of us now deal with burying our loved ones in a changing diverse nation.  

This series and others like it such as Strictly Kosher on ITV, The Bishop and the Prisoner on BBC Radio 4 and Making Bradford British on Channel 4 get to heart of what we want to explore during this the first of what I hope will many more RE:THINK festivals.

Religion and belief in the UK and how we portray it on television and radio is evolving. Old fashioned arguments about broadcast hours twenty years ago or how many ex theology students worked on a show are largely irrelevant to today's audience.

Our shows need to have impact and relevance and from The Life of Muhammad to Thought for the Day we have shown that it can still be the case. 

It's your output, help all broadcasters, not just the BBC, ensure we make it fit for purpose not just for today but for the future.

BBC RE:THINK 2012 Festival runs from 12 to 13 September 2012. You can follow the events live online and follow the discussion on Twitter with with the hashtag #bbcrethink

The festival forms part of BBC North’s autumn season of events and programming, which Director Peter Salmon wrote about on this blog yesterday

Further detail about the results of the BBC RE:THINK 2012 poll can be found on the BBC Media Centre website

Follow @AbouttheBBC on Twitter for updates.

 

Tagged with:

Comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
 
 

This entry is now closed for comments

Share this page

More Posts

Previous
Looking back on BBC North's sporting summer and ahead to the autumn season

Tuesday 11 September 2012, 16:38

Next
BBC and the Big Screens

Thursday 13 September 2012, 15:05

About this Blog

This blog explains what the BBC does and how it works. We link to some other blogs and online spaces inside and outside the corporation. The blog is edited by Jon Jacob.

Follow About the BBC on Twitter

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?

External links about the BBC

Red Bee creates on-screen 50th birthday party for BBC2 (Design Week)

BBC3 controller Zai Bennett to head Sky Atlantic (Guardian) 

JK Rowling to become Woman's Hour first guest editor for 60 years (Guardian)

Kim Shillinglaw: what you need to know (Broadcast)
"a near-BBC lifer, is known to be a straight-talking, confident operator with a penchant for the odd expletive, which one source described as “quite refreshing

How to tame the BBC behemoth (Daily Telegraph)
"Transferring non-news radio and TV production to the independent sector would save the BBC millions and possibly even the BBC itself"

Cancer specialist and anti-FGM activists named in Radio 4's most powerful woman list (Asian Image)

Marc Warren joins The Musketeers series 2 (Den of Geek)

BBC Radio 1 to count down top 100 downloads of all time (Digital Spy)
"After a decade of legal downloading in the UK, it's time for Radio 1 to celebrate with a countdown revealing the nation's top 100"

BBC charter a key issue for new culture secretary (Broadcast)

Festival to bring UK closer to Middle East (Ariel)
"BBC Arabic is giving Arab cinema, documentaries and journalism a UK showcase."

Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch to play Richard III for BBC (Independent)

'I believe it is now the right time to step down': Sir Bruce Forsyth quits Strictly Come Dancing after fronting show for a decade (Mail)

BBC Worldwide CEO re-joins BBC executive board (Digital TV Europe)
"Davie will replace BBC HR director Lucy Adams"

James Corden backs BBC Three online move: 'It is the best place for it' (Digital Spy)

Sandi Toksvig criticises BBC ban on all-male panel shows (Telegraph)
"recruiting more female hosts would be a more desirable way of correcting the imbalance"

BBC's Peter Horrocks: 'It's not that easy to get advertising in Somalia' (Guardian)
"World Service boss on financial pressure, selling ads, transmitting news via brainwaves, and Newsnight's 'brio'"

BBC Radio 2 Eurovision Pop-up station (Matt Deegan Writes)
"I think this is a great idea and something the BBC should do more of ... it makes use of existing technology ... It’s also a technology that nearly half of UK households have, so lots of people can access it."

BBC iPlayer hits record 10.7m daily requests (Mobile Entertainment)

The Village series 2 begins shooting, adds new cast members (Digital Spy)

BBC Radio 1Xtra Live heads to Birmingham (Birmingham Post)
"It’s our aspiration at BBC Birmingham to host more of these big events over the coming years.”

BBC axes The Review Show after 20 years (The Stage)

Roger Wright to leave BBC after 15 years as Radio 3 controller (Guardian)
"Director of the BBC Proms exits corporation to become chief executive of Aldeburgh music festival"

American superstar Pharrell and The 1975 join the line-up for BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2014 in Glasgow (Scottish Daily Record) 

BBC boss Tony Hall could be in line for cameo in W1A mockumentary (Guardian)
"Second series role rumoured for director general after BBC2 premiere of first episode pulled in 1.6 million viewers"

BBC Three announces new shows and recommissions (British Comedy Guide)
"a timely reminder that we're still very much open for comedy business"

Does Mary Berry Cooks mark a breakthrough for older women on TV?Does Mary Berry Cooks mark a breakthrough for older women on TV? (Guardian)"What results is an unapologetically old-fashioned TV show with a presenter who makes no attempt to disguise when she was born"

Last updated Thursday 17 April 2014

Blogs from across the BBC

Selected by the About the BBC Blog team.

Jamaica Inn: Seeing sense in Aunt Patience's madness [TV]
How to be a good support act: Part 1 - Getting a gig and preparing for the show [BBC Introducing]
The BBC Online @20 [Internet]
Another Great Escape for BBC Introducing [BBC Introducing]
The 2014 BBC Performing Arts Fellowship Scheme [Performing Arts Fund]

Connected Red Button: a first look at the new service on Smart TVs [Internet]