Displaying items by tag: Media
Last week, Ofcom publicly withdrew from Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme, citing as the reason a need to avoid conflict or a risk of perceived bias. They are the latest in a growing list of government departments and public bodies to acknowledge that the advice given by Stonewall is highly partisan, often factually inaccurate, and sometimes misleading. None of this, however, appears to have impacted on the BBC. In a statement issued on 26 August, the corporation defiantly repeated its commitment to workplace inclusion, saying it would remain associated with Stonewall’s LGBTQ+ Diversity Champions’ programme. A sizeable number of BBC staff are deeply unhappy with this. Senior presenters have complained that continuing support for the controversial programme indicates clear bias and partiality, with one commenting, ‘if we’re all being lectured about impartiality, and quite rightly so, why are we signed up to a scheme that is obviously partial?’
The Christian actress Letitia Wright speaks out about Jesus in public and has turned down big roles because of her ethics. She starred in Doctor Who, Black Panther and Black Mirror. She took part in a devotional series with the YouVersion Bible app and posted about her faith on Instagram. In an interview ahead of the new drama I am Danielle on Channel 4, she told how her faith sustains her in her career: ‘The world is so fickle and there's not much that you can really put your hope in to make you feel whole. Even now I'm going through a new transformative stage with understanding who I am, but with God you can really get through these situations. It's been beautiful to have my faith in Jesus, which is worth more than anything.’
For Christians there were many precious moments at the Olympics that were little reported by mainstream media. Olympians from across the nations were committed Christians and quick to publicly give glory to the King of Kings. When the Fiji rugby team won a gold medal, they formed a circle in the centre of the field and burst forth in a rendition of a gospel hymn; ‘We have overcome by the blood of the lamb in the Word of the Lord, we have overcome’. Also, British swimmer Daniel Jervis, who came fifth in the men’s 1500m freestyle, was quick to praise God: ‘The thing I’m most proud of in my life is that I’m a Christian, and obviously God was with me tonight, and I’m just really grateful to be representing Him’.
The head of the Metropolitan Police has said ‘no one is above the law’ when asked about sexual assault allegations made against Prince Andrew. Dame Cressida Dick said, ‘I am aware that currently there is a lot of comment in the media. We will of course again review our position - but at the moment there is no investigation.’ Dame Cressida added, ‘It’s been reviewed twice before; we’ve worked closely with the CPS, and we are of course open to working with authorities from overseas. We will give them every assistance if they ask us for anything within the law. As a result of what’s going on, I’ve asked my team to have another look at the material.’
Amazon and Google are under UK competition watchdog scrutiny regarding fake reviews on their platforms. The competition regulator is probing the tech giants in relation to breaches of consumer protection law. Their ‘specific concerns’ were raised about whether the two companies were ‘doing enough’ to detect ‘fake and misleading reviews or suspicious patterns of behaviour.’ An initial sweep, begun in May 2020, cast doubts on whether the firms investigate and remove such reviews, and if they impose ‘adequate sanctions’ to deter reviewers or businesses from violating rules on honest posts - in particular by taking action against repeat offenders. ‘Our worry is that millions of online shoppers could be misled by reading fake reviews and then spending their money based on those recommendations’, said the watchdog. Last September, Amazon had to delete 20,000 product reviews, written by seven of its top UK reviewers, following a Financial Times investigation discovering reviewers were paid to post thousands of five-star ratings.
20 June was the 26th anniversary of the founding of Apple Daily newspaper. The tabloid has been critical of the Hong Kong and Chinese leadership, and on 23 June China announced its closure after raiding their offices and arresting senior staff. Their last publication stated, ‘On the eve of this newspaper’s birthday, both our newspaper and the local press suffered unprecedented blows. 500 police barged into our newsroom, ransacked news materials that have always been strictly protected, snatched over 40 computers, servers, and much news materials. This means that many sources and sensitive materials were taken away. Five of our executives, including CEO Cheung Kim-hung and editor-in-chief Ryan Law were arrested. They were charged and bail rejected, and they don’t know when they will regain freedom. The impact on them and their families are beyond imagination. Searches and arrests are sounding an alarm for the local press freedom at a volume that has never been heard before’. See
BBC chairman Richard Sharp said failures of ‘accountability and transparency’ existed until 2020. The BBC will review editorial practices and investigate how journalist, Martin Bashir, was re-hired as religion editor in 2016, after an inquiry found he used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure an interview with Diana, Princess of Wales. The BBC accepted the findings and reiterated its apology. The Duke of Cambridge said his mother was failed ‘not just by a rogue reporter’ but by BBC bosses. An enquiry found Bashir had faked bank statements to suggest Princess Diana was under surveillance - to win the trust of her brother Earl Spencer, and eventually gain access to the princess for the 1995 interview. Then as media interest in the interview increased, the BBC covered up its knowledge of how Bashir secured the interview. Now the BBC board ‘hopes to ensure the mistakes of the past could not be repeated’. Pray for truth, humility and justice run through all reporting and commentaries.
A star-filled video urging people from ethnic minority communities to get the Covid vaccine is being shown across commercial TV channels amid growing concern that black, Asian and other ethnic minority communities in the UK are less likely to get vaccinated. Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, and Romesh Ranganathan are among the celebrities who feature in the video, which was first released online. More stars have been added to the TV version. The BBC’s charter prevents it from taking part, but the issue was raised on BBC TV and radio programmes on 18 February. The video coordinator said, ‘We are in unprecedented times, and this pandemic disproportionately affects people from ethnic minority communities.’ Fake news about the vaccine, which has been a particular problem in the South Asian community, is addressed in the #TakeTheVaccine video.
Christian MP Gregory Campbell has defended his claim that the BBC's Songs of Praise Gospel Singer of the Year Competition was ‘the BBC at its Black Lives Matter worst’. The semi-final featured five black singers and three black judges. He believes the singers were not representative of the best gospel singers in the country, the BBC is not diverse, and the show had ‘one colour scheme’. The presenter of the competition said very few white people applied, and the best singers were chosen. The MP then asked him if he was trying to make him believe there wasn't a single white person good enough when both black and white sing gospel. The presenter said the show celebrated a style of music that came out of black communities and black experience in this country; Campbell's comments show a lack of understanding and ignorance about gospel music.
‘The Iranian media, schools, everything you see and hear is Islamic’, said Ramin Parsa. ‘They brainwash you. We had no magazines or books. We saw caricatures of Israeli soldiers killing Palestinian babies. They sowed hatred in our hearts.’ Ramin went to the mosque every morning to pray. Every morning at school, they shouted, ‘Death to Israel! Death to America!’ Although it is illegal, every house has a satellite dish - an alternative to non-stop religious propaganda on government channels. On the Trinity channel he heard about Jesus. Ramin didn’t immediately believe. ‘If you give Jesus your heart, he will change your life. He loves you,’ the man was saying. ‘He died for you and rose again from the dead.’ Then Ramin relented. Asking to be forgiven, he started weeping. He felt God move in his body, providing heat and warmth. He rushed to see his mother, ‘Why is your face so shiny?’ she asked, bewildered.