There are many different types of religious programmes, and seeing that there is so much choice over the five terrestrial channels. However, the importance of religious programmes on television has started to drop. The decline in the viewing of sacred programmes brings forward two major questions; Are people less interested in watching such programmes, or are they as a society, not as religious as they once were? As a result, The BBC has decided to review its religious output after a recent study found a drop in religious programmes on the two BBC channels.
A reference to this decline is in 2002, The BBC dedicated one hundred and one hours of its broadcasting allowance to its religious programmes whereas in 2004, The BBC dedicated only eighty seven hours of its broadcasting allowance to its religious programmes. Religious programmes have always been present for as long as the television has been around. An example of a religious programme is a magazine show. The typical features of a magazine show are a presenter, comments on a variety of different issues relating to religion and faith, interviews with celebrities as well as personal stories from ordinary, working class people.
An example of a magazine show is "The Heaven and Earth Show", normally shown around mid-day on a Sunday. The news section mainly talks about topics, in which the public has shown great interest, which they review. The Heaven and Earth Show also investigates different parts of religion, like the spiritual side. Many famous people and ordinary working class citizens are both interviewed about their religion and their opinions on it. Ultimately, the phone in section of the show is where people phone in and state their views on important subjects.
In conclusion, a magazine show is very interesting and is not always about religion, although all topics covered have some religious justification. In this particular episode, best selling writer, Maya Angelou told Hannah Scott-Joynt about the power of love, her passion for food and why she can never really leave home. The debate in the episode was "Does TV Rot the Brain? " Aric Sigman, on a mission to change our viewing habits, argued that TV rots the brain, makes us fat, depressed, hyperactive and even violent. And for very young children, he says that the "electronic child minder" in the living room is really an electronic child abuser.
So Should TV be overhauled, improved, regulated or even rationed? The feature of the week was "Retreats: Dry Stone Walling" Saira kahn was runner up for a job with Sir Alan Sugar in the BBC reality show, "The Apprentice. " But she has since been hard at work for the show. She swapped her laptop for a hilltop and spent a weekend on retreat as a conservation volunteer, building a dry stone wall. With the announcement that the nation is borrowing at record levels, The Times columnist, Ben Fry was interviewed about the nations overspending, giving some physiological and spiritual insights.
Finally, actor and impressionist, Jan Ravens, gave her views on all of the major topics from the past week. Another type of religious programme is a religious documentary. An example of a religious documentary is "A Seaside Parish. " This type of programme sometimes doesn't even look at religious viewpoints and usually displays a documentary about something. This particular episode is a documentary about a small seaside parish in Bostcastle, Cornwall. In the first series, we were informed that the old church way of life, on which these parishes have flourished for hundreds of years, is struggling to survive.
Christine, who is the priest of the local church in Boscastle, has only two children among her regular congregation and sometimes she is greeted by a near empty church on a Sunday morning. However, some people in this deeply traditional community are unsure that a divorced woman, who has re-married, and with only two years of experience as a priest, is the right person for the job. In the second series we followed events in the months leading up to the Boscastle floods, and how the community coped with the dreadful aftermath. We see this through the eyes of the parish priest, the Revd.
Christine Musser. Worship programmes, such as "Songs of Praise", which include Church ceremonies and hymn singing, have been present from the first days of television. On the other hand, as society has undergone a dramatic change, for example, the society we live in has now become multi-faith society; the stereotypical view of religious programme has now also been altered. Because of this alteration, worship programmes have been forced to change. "Songs of Praise", is now shown at around 6-7pm on a Sunday evening, has started to include new features.
These include features like human-interest stories from ordinary working class people, inspirational music performances, and how faith has affected their lives. "Songs of Praise" analyses many different aspects of Christianity. The traditional features of the programme are still shown. For example, the television audience can still sing along with the hymns, as the words actually appear on the television screen through a process similar to subtitles. Overall, worship programmes have changed by a considerable amount as they have now started to attract viewers from a younger age group, mostly teenagers.
In the particular episode I watched, Dave Tierney talked about the problems he faced as a young man when he was involved with drugs and how he overcame them with help of his faith after becoming a Christian. He talked about setting up the Lighthouse Foundation a combination of sheltered housing for the elderly and a residential centre for people with drug related problems. We heard from some of the residents at the Lighthouse Centre about their experiences of living there. Also, Roy Blackler and Jack Hughieson shared their moving stories of finding peace in Japan.
In Addition, after seeing a war grave in Japan where 16 British POWs were buried, Keiko was overwhelmed with the desire to trace their relatives. This led on to her dedicating her life to reconciliation work between surviving POWs and Japanese people. Despite the hostility of British POWs, she persisted, encouraging them to tell their story, and finally persuading them to come to Japan with her and meet former Japanese soldiers and ordinary Japanese people. This has become an annual event and is a life-changing experience for the POWs, who finally learn to forgive and find the peace that has eluded them for 60 years.