You doubtless recall that I have been wittering on about the lack of Pagan voices on the BBC. Sure, Philip Carr-Gomm and Ron Hutton get on there very occasionally, but just looking at only objective measure that I could find (appearances on the multifaith Thought for the Day), we are not being heard. Add to this the failure of the BBC to recognise us in their religion and ethics review at the end of last year and it is easy to feel ignored…
Following the BBC review, I have been corresponding with Mark Friend, the BBC director in charge of this area. He seems nice and has reached out to the PF and TDN but I’m not aware of the outcome of that. That’s a win at least!
But it is not enough on it’s own so back in January I started a petition. Six months on it is time to hand it in to the BBC, which I will be doing in person on Tuesday at 11am at Broadcasting House in London. If people would like to join me for a photo for my blog then please let me know!!!
I have sent a press release to a selection of media places. No point in handing a petition in so that it can be ignored. Lots of work goes into these which I don’t want to waste. I hope that the media pick up on this. This is the press release (most of it…):
Druid Stuart Jeffery: “Almost 2000 people have call on the BBC to make Pagan voices heard. The BBC should have an occasional programme looking at Paganism and they should feature a Pagan voice on Thought for the Day at least once a year.
“The BBC recently published a review of its religious programming however despite getting the views from a range of religious leaders, no Pagans were consulted. While they have recently said that they will now consult with us, there has been no change in broadcasting practice yet.
“Nature based religions have never had more relevance than now with climate change hurting the world and plastic soup killing our oceans. Human animals are failing to honour Nature despite us being part of her. Having voices in the media that have a different regard to the world of which we are part is more necessary now than ever.”
- Thought for the Day (T4tD) goes out on Radio 4 and despite it being multi-faith it has no Pagan voices on it. According to the 2011 Census, Pagans make up 0.2% of all people in the UK expressing a religion (this will be understated given our natural reluctance to make ourselves know!). By comparison 0.6% identified as Buddhists but had 3% of T4tD broadcasts and 0.7% identified as Jewish with 5% of T4tD broadcasts.