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The Church and Media Network (update)

During October we will be bringing you much more detailed information about the development of The Church and Media Network, the successor body to the Churches’ Media Council. We look forward to sharing this information with you. In the meantime here are a couple of things you might want to know about.

BBC Trust review
The BBC Trust has today launched its “largest and most significant” ever review of the corporation’s services, with BBC1, BBC2, BBC4 and red button interactive operations due to come under the microscope. The trust, which is the BBC’s regulatory and governing body, will analyse all areas of output on these services apart from children’s (which was the subject of a recent Trust review). It will also investigate whether the services are providing value for money. This comes in the context of increasing political pressure on the corporation from both main parties, with strong suggestions that the overall scope of the BBC’s activities should be reduced.

Views are being sought from individuals and organisations. The review period is short – the consultation closes on 18th December. Individuals wishing to make submissions can do so online here.

Organisations (including churches and other Christian groups) wishing to respond to the consultation should visit this site for instructions.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues involved please don’t hesitate to email Andrew Graystone:

Thought for the Day debate
The Church and Media Network will host a public debate on BBC Radio 4’s controversial Thought for the Day next month. The motion for debate is that “This House Believes that Humanist speakers should be included in BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.” The two minute slot will come into sharp focus this Autumn when the BBC Trust will deliver a ruling on a formal complaint that humanist views are under-represented by the BBC, with Thought for the Day cited in evidence.

The motion will be proposed by Dr Andrew Copson, the Director of Education and Public Affairs at the British Humanist Association. He will be joined by comedienne Ariane Sherine, who masterminded the “atheist bus campaign” and delivered an experimental secular Thought for the Day on Radio 4’s PM programme. Opposing the motion will be Canon Giles Fraser, who is a regular Thought for the Day contributor and was recently appointed Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral. He will be joined by Rt Rev Nick Baines, the Bishop of Croydon. The debate will be chaired by the distinguished broadcaster Edward Stourton, who as presenter of Today on Radio 4 has introduced many Thoughts for the Day.

The debate will take place on Thursday 8th October at the LICC at St Peter’s, Vere Street (off Oxford Street) London. Refreshments will be served from 6.30pm and the debate will begin at 7pm. Members of the public are welcome, with tickets priced £7.50, available on the door. Friends of The Church and Media Network who would like to reserve a seat are invited to email us by 5pm on Friday 2nd October.

The Church and Media Conference 2010
The annual Church and Media Conference will be held at The Hayes Conference Centre in Swanwick, Derbyshire from 7th – 9th June 2010. This year for the first time an Editorial Panel will meet to advise the conference planners on the themes and topics for the event. The panel will meet on Thursday 8th October. If you have any suggestions to make to the Editorial Panel please let Andrew Graystone know:

theMediaNet – our new network for Christians and others who work in media – continues to grow and develop, with new members joining daily and new applications being added. On the home page there is now a video introducing theMediaNet. If you, or someone you know, works in the media and would like to join the network, please direct them to or just click here to jump directly to the site.

Tony is a Superintendent Methodist Minister, broadcaster and author. He is a radio presenter with Premier Christian Radio and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2's Pause for Thought (5.45 am). Tony is married with two children and four grandchildren.

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