Don't scrap Ofcom:Christians urge governmentTuesday 18 May 2010
The Christian Broadcasting Council (CBC) is calling on Britain's new coalition government to think very carefully about possible plans to abolish the broadcasting regulator Ofcom.
Prior to the election, the Conservatives pledged to do away with Quangos (Quasi-autonomous National Government Organisations). But CBC is calling on the new government to spare Ofcom, to safeguard freedom of speech.
'If Ofcom were to go, media would come under the scrutiny of central government, creating big implications for broadcasters,’ warns CBC chair Olave Snelling.
CBC’s concern is that a media regulated by central government could considerably stifle free speech and silence Christian voices in the name of political correctness.
And Olave Snelling is warning that any government cuts to broadcasting could hit religious programming.
‘Everywhere cuts can be made, they will be made,’ says Olave Snelling. ‘There is going to be much slashing and burning. And in commercial media companies and the independent Christian media the pressure of finance will be acute.’
Addressing the regular CBC prayer meeting for broadcasters, Olave Snelling called on Christian broadcasters to stand up and speak up. ‘With a new coalition government we need to speak hope afresh into a nation which is going into a period of unprecedented volatility as policy in every sphere of the nation's life is hammered out.'
‘Even so, this is a fantastic time of opportunity for Christians to unite, rise up and touch the nation afresh with the powerful force of the precious gospel. We particularly want to bless the broadcasters.’
The monthly prayer meeting, at St Michael’s Church, Chester Square, London, prayed for the government and the media at this time of change, and for those within the media who are making strategic decisions about Christian programming.
Prayers were made that the government would use media for good; that God would use those with power and influence - whether or not they are Christians - to bring about his will on earth; and that Christians in broadcasting would exercise a bold and Godly influence within the media.
The Christian Broadcasting Council represents Christians in the media and through its annual awards encourages excellence in Christian broadcasting. For more details, please go to: www.christianbroadcastingcouncil.co.uk