In this essay, I am going to talk about how the media portrays religious broadcasting. There are two main types of religious broadcasting these are worship and magazine, a religious programme will usually broadcast an entire Christian service. This service will include hymn singing, prayers, interviews and testimonials. A magazine programme will include a number of reports, interviews and features. Most religious programmes will be shown during a timeslot called the God slot. This time slot is positioned between 10:30 am to 6:00 pm on Sundays.
Religious broadcasting is broadcasting religious organizations, usually with a religious message. In the United Kingdom, Christian organizations are by far the most widespread compared with other religions. Religious broadcasting is targeting a whole range of people, It depends on what programme you are watching. For example, a programme like ‘Songs of praise’ could be targeting viewers who can’t go to their Sunday church as they would normally do. On the other hand programmes like ‘Tricks of the Bible’ could be targeting viewers who are not Christians but are curious about looking up Christianity.
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An example of a magazine-type program is ‘Heaven and Earth’. In this program, a women presenter presents a range of reports, interviews and discussions. This program is not completely Christian-based; there are other religious views on certain subjects. Heaven and Earth are trying to use current affairs that could link in with religion.
For example, the program is using the topic of the football world cup. They are talking about Wane Rooney’s broken foot and how the tabloids and supporters are thanking God that his food was healed. In this topic, there are several reports, two interviews and a chance for the viewers at home to email in and voice their opinion. The program is using viewer interaction which is very common in a magazine-style program.
Viewer interaction is when the presenter or presenters use technology like e-mail and phone to ask the viewer’s opinion on a certain subject. This shows that the program is not old-fashioned and that they are up to date with modern aspects of human life. Most people believe that religious programmes are old fashioned are only about people singing and praising God, this program has defied this view. The presenter of the show is Gloria Hunniford, she is roughly in her 60’s and has appeared in many other programmes like; ‘This Morning’, ‘This is your Life’ and ‘Sunday, Sunday’.
Heaven and Earth are usually on a Sunday morning from 10:00 are to 11:00m, this is within the time slot called the God Slot. This means that the target audience for a show like this is Christian adults and maybe Christian teenagers. The reason teenagers might enjoy a show like heaven and earth is that it appeals to modern-day issues that teenagers are involved in. This then makes the teenagers believe that these issues could affect them therefore they might watch the show. The show also doesn’t only get one point of view on the different issues, normally there is only one view and that is the view of Christians.
This show uses Muslim guests and Christian guests to discuss certain topics that could be of importance to both of them. For example on last week’s show, there was a massive discussion about the July 7th bombing attacks on London. This is a very controversial issue, so the show decided to gather more than one view. There was a lady who had written a book on the attacks and on the other side a Muslim lady. This was a very heated argument that went sometimes completely out of the subject of July 7th. This was a very clever thing the show did because then they are appealing to an even bigger target audience including Muslims.
This show also featured guest appearances from celebrities who would voice their opinions on religion. This would also gain the attention of the younger audience as celebrities are people who teenagers look up to and want to be like. The celebrities also perform or do something for the audience before they talk to Gloria Hunniford.
The show also uses programmes that are on the television and relates them to religion. The show they used last week was ‘The Convent’; this was a reality programme which was going to be shown on BBC1. For this programme, heaven and earth brought in a woman that had appeared in the show and interviewed her about how her experience affected her religion.
In conclusion, this show uses many different techniques to gather the user’s attention. They use phone messages, e-mail, discussions, different points of view, current affairs and celebrities to get their message across. I believe this a very effective show and have the potential to go on for a long time. This type of show is out dating shows that portray an old-fashioned view of religion, for example, ‘Many Voices, One Spirit’ and therefore is gaining a much bigger audience.
The show ‘Many voices, One Spirit’ was a special church service shown on BBC1 at 10:00 am on Sunday morning. This show was a whole church service; there were no presenters like ‘Heaven and Earth’. This was a worship-type programme that would appeal more to Christian adults. This programme is also within the God slot, the reason there was a special church service is because it was the day of Pentecost.
The church service was a mix of Catholics and Protestants; this is very unusual as they normally do not worship together. The church service started with a women priest, this is also very unusual as Catholics do not allow women priests in their churches. This programme has very little viewer interaction or does not have any presenter. This is a worship programme that puts you in the audience. It portrays the look that you are one of the congregations watching the service.
Also present at the service are two bishops, this signifies the importance of the service because bishops hardly ever go to church services especially together. After every reading, there is a hymn. This is the only part of the show that involves the audience. While the hymn is sung, subtitles are present on the screen so the viewers can sing along to the hymn at home.
About halfway through the ‘peace of the lord’ is done in many different languages, this is done by members of the congregation. The sermons done by the bishops and other people were edited to television. This means that because the sermons were quite long in time, not many people would enjoy just listening to the sermon for 10-15 minutes. So the sermons are split up throughout the show so the viewers at home see 2-3 minutes of the sermon every time. This would increase the viewing audience as a minority would enjoy listening to a sermon for 10-15 minutes the majority would not.
Near the ending of the service, the bishops finish the last part of their sermon which is talking about Pentecost. There is one last hymn then finally the whole church joins in for a prayer which would prey for everyone about illness, death, school then ends with the Lord’s Prayer.
In conclusion, I believe this program is aimed at adults who maybe can’t get to church or enjoy watching services instead of actually going to church. This is an old-fashioned service which does really entail any modern features. There is a subtitle bar where people can sing the hymns at home but that is the extent of it. This program is very different from ‘Heaven and Earth’ and is appealing to a very different audience.
There are many other worship programmes which are modern one of these is ‘Songs of Praise’. Other programmes include ‘Tricks of the bible’ a program which involves magicians performing “Miracles”.
In conclusion, I believe that the best program out of ‘Heaven and Earth’ and ‘many voices one spirit’ is heaven and earth. I think this because it appeals to teenagers and many other viewers not just Christians. The program uses current affairs which makes the program modern and suitable for my age group. On the other hand, many voices one spirit does give a comprehensive account of what an actual church service is like. This is a good experience that you don’t have to go to church to see. I believe both programmes are very good and are suitable for a whole range of people but for my age group, heaven and earth are superior.
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