BBC shrugs off appeal to radically overhaul Religion & Ethics category as a ‘complaint’
We wrote to the BBC Board in the most serious terms, asking them to bring the BBC in line with the law and its own Charter by treating Humanism and other non-religious beliefs equally with religious beliefs.
We asked them to begin a serious process of reform, shifting the corporation’s mindset, policy and programming from the current platform of ‘Religion & Ethics’ to ‘Beliefs & Ethics’, starting with Thought for the Day.
You can read the letter here:
All we got in return was a letter from the Correspondence Adviser in the Office of the Chairman and DG, saying our letter was a complaint. This after handing in eloquent letters to Tony Hall and James Purnell from a range of authors every month for the last 18 months, making the case for our campaign to include humanists on Thought for the Day, and getting nothing in return except one brief email saying no. The exception is Today editor Sarah Sands who listened and gave us the opportunity to speak on the Today programme last year.
It may be that when members of the public raise matters relating to the Charter, they have to be treated as complaints, but what about the bigger arguments about belief, society and the role of the national broadcaster?
It is a disheartening process and does seem designed to put one off bothering. Well, we will complain. Will report back in about a year!
In the meantime – the monthly demos go on and do yield some useful conversations with BBC staff. Please join us in February on Tuesday 11th, morning slot this time, 8 – 10am.