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  1. 1. British television and religion:audience perspectivesRuth Deller (@ruthdeller)
  2. 2. Where did discussion occur?Entertainment forums (e.g. Digital Spy, Unreality TV)General interest forums (e.g. The Student Room)Focus groups: online and offlineYouTube: comments and response videosBroadcaster/programme blogs and forumsFaith group forums/blogs/sitesTwitterIndividuals blogs and comments
  3. 3. What do audiences like?Learning something newI understood things about it [Islam] that I hadnt before, cos Iwould have been so obsessed with the sort of genderdifferences in it… now Ive had those kind of spiritualexperiences and had that kind of seeking… Ive had a completelydifferent view of it (Amy on The Retreat).A sense of balance or fairnessI like the fact there are no agendas, proselytising, witch hunts,setups, etc. Nice change for British TV documentaries (Woof onRevelations).
  4. 4. What do audiences like?Respect for beliefs/believersHeres evidence of God shows how grace can touch us. Most ofmy friends did watch The Monastery and Im frankly moved bywhat Im hearing from them all (Gail on The Monastery)A sense of ‘openness’ about programme’s positionWith this guy we knew that he believed in God, the way that hebelieved in God, the sort of church he belonged to… I felt like Igot to know him through the programme (Laura on Around theWorld in 80 Faiths)
  5. 5. What do audiences dislike?A lack of diversityIn my experience, the BBC could not care less about the feelingsof or requests from the Hindus. They simply ignore them... TheBBC also ignores the significant Buddhist population in Britain.(Praya on BBC message boards thread ‘Does the BBC under-represent UK Hindus and Sikhs?)Perceived misrepresentation, exaggeration, ‘distortion’Theyll get the most extreme priests/vicars they can find, and putthem in a room of skeptics, and edit it accordingly to portray thepriests showing homophobic behaviour and saying list of "you-shouldnts”… I was horrified! If Christianity was truly like that, Iwould not be a churchgoer myself. (Jane on Make Me a Christian)
  6. 6. What do audiences dislike?‘Patronising’ programmes, interviewers or presentersIve never seen a more patronising, belittling programme in mylife! (Leah on Jews)‘Exploitative’ or ‘unfair’ programmesI feel, as ive felt with a number of BBC3/C4 programmes, thattheres an element of exploitation here, which is not fair tosomeone who is only 13 and has quite obviously been totallybrainwashed (dom on Deborah 13: Servant of God)
  7. 7. How do audiences perceive ‘others’?As being treated differently to their own groupThe BBC only falls over backwards to please Muslims andsometimes Christians, the rest of are trampled over by them.(PaganLove on A History of Christianity)In ways that replicate/reinforce negative stereotypesThis makes me want to puke! Scientology is a cult! Not a religion!FUCK YOU SCIENTOLOGY!!!! FUCK YOU AND EVERYTHING YOUSTAND FOR!!! (Tubec on Panorama: Scientology and Me)
  8. 8. How do audiences perceive ‘others’?With hints of racism, xenophobia & British superioritywho else thinks americans are a prime example that peopleshould be drowned at birth there is no god we dont have tobeleive in god abortions is ok and children with bibles piss of uhave a go at islamists use are the same fuck u yanks. (ab1 onCutting Edge: Baby Bible Bashers)As ‘vulnerable’ or ‘threatening’OMFG THESE PEOPLE ARE SO FUCKING STUPID AND FUCKINGIGNORANT Christians i hate to break it to you but the Burningtimes is over move the fuck on…i hope every priest that stuck hishands down little kids pants is will be roasting in hell. leave it tothe Church to fuck up a already messed up country (AlJoseph onDispatches: Saving Africa’s Witch Children)
  9. 9. ConclusionSome groups feel under-representedWhilst others feel mis-representedThere is a perception of ‘unfairness’ and ‘bias’They often perceive ‘others’ as different to themselvesThey feel presenters/film-makers should be honestThey don’t like feeling patronisedBut they do like learning something newAnd feeling like a programme is intelligent and ‘fair’