The final day of the conference, a few rough notes!


ChurchAds – new campaign.


Tim Levell, Editor Blue Peter. (Lots of news experience)

Start off – agree none of our faiths represented well enough (is this like always asking for more sweets). Fears that Christian characters will all be weird! In big crises, etc. everyone goes to the big charities – e.g. Oxfam.

Inayat Bunglawala, Muslim Council of Britain

Annoying – can Shariah law and British law work together? Archbishop Canterbury – said one thing, and others in the media re-represent it as more controversial, etc. than it was – and have gone off on a tangent, and does affect the consciousness of people! Take effort to understand what people are actually saying! More positive stories – e.g. Eastenders (sexual orientation rarely discussed in Muslim circles). Shift to digital media – terrestrial channels no longer have a captive audience – people are voting with their feet – if they’re not getting the news they want they have so many other avenues to go to.. Acres of coverage of extremist Muslim groups – so frustrating as media coverage is so unbalanced (can get some balance via digital media) … e.g. when he was growing up the N Ireland coverage – affects his attitudes. Now 50% Brits associate Islam with terrorism..

Harmander Singh, Sikhs in England

‘Shy & Retiring types’ – tend to be rather insular. More in UK than census shown. Easily identifiable by turbans – and media tends to seize upon photos, etc. that tell a story that’s not there… not helpful to the community which gets the wrong label. Use languages in the media with care – e.g. not all Sikh murders are honour killings… Limits to what can be done… Are there any serious characters? Check out Sikhs in the City – showed ‘real’ – but so occasional – see as a novelty…

Chris Cole, Cross Rhythms + Europe Director God TV

Simon Mayo pushed to the edge & an anti-Christian theme in comedy, etc. Media driven by the sensational.. Power of impact on the society – we know it’s a soap, BUT impacts on society. What Christian would you like to see on screen – many Christians are just very functional/normal people – but never see them on TV. We need role models that truly reflect what our nation is built on. As a nation, we don’t know what we’re standing on in terms of values (Judeo-Christian?). Church in UK going through a reformation itself – becoming more about community interaction. Cross Rhythms – help the church engage. E.g. Street Pastors. Be great to see mainstream media pick up on moer positive stories…

Christina Rees & Aaqil Ahmed (BBC Head of Religion & Ethics)

…See Tweetstream… (sorry, I was only half-listening, I was summarising the entire conference in 3 minutes – I took it to 3 pages, and then back down to one!)


A great production, as per usual, this time on the theme of the World Cup.  I’m trying to track it down online, as I was finishing off the plenary!


Commenced with a summary from Russ Bravo (that ‘story’: the need to tell them and the need to train others to tell them well was the key focus of the conference), and from me.

We’re stronger together, still lot of reluctance with social media, MediaNet – facilitate media training/access in, Media finds it like catching jelly in a net – how improve that? Stop having the old debates (local isn’t dying, it’s changing); if the BBC isn’t doing something – we do it – and if Stop whinging, but write and congratulate the great programmes (& offer help for future)

Suggestion for next year – facilitating increased opportunities for networking; more social media being used, more workshops – e.g. Sound_Mike – podcasting. Wider range of media – nothing from media/print press. Conference which is a must for any senior media CEO to attend. (resource issue).  What resources does CMN already have? Hear hear for workshops!

The Nativity – vulnerability in his story about faith!

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