Churchgoers are underrepresented at the BBC and it may be affecting the Corporation’s output, a Christian media group has warned.
The Christian Broadcasting Council (CBC) made the comments in a submission to media watchdog Ofcom.
J Peter Wilson, a media consultant with CBC who co-wrote the submission, highlighted the BBC’s own figures: “The number of staff professing a Christian faith was 37 per cent, compared to 63 per cent nationally.”
Mr Wilson added: “Those saying they were Muslim was the same as the national figure, and those saying they were non-religious was 50 per cent, compared to 23 per cent nationally.”
He said, “it is important that media organisations – including the BBC – employ people with a real knowledge and understanding of religion, including the Christian faith in its many forms.
“Ofcom and Parliament need to understand that the reporting of any matter is influenced by the journalist’s worldview.
“A variety of providers is essential in a free and democratic society – including those with a faith-based perspective.”
CBC also called for “fair representation of faith groups in media ownership”.
It said: “In the past, Christians have been barred from media ownership. CBC has championed the right of Christians to be regarded under law as ‘fit persons’ to apply for broadcast licences.
“We fought for and won that right and will strive to ensure that Christian representation in the media remains, and that Christians are able to talk and write openly about their faith.”
Earlier this year the BBC’s own research showed the corporation is widely regarded as displaying an anti-Christian attitude in its programming.
The BBC report said: “In terms of religion, there were many who perceived the BBC to be anti-Christian and as such misrepresenting Christianity.”
At the beginning of the year Peter Sissons’ memoirs revealed that Christians are “fair game” for insults at the BBC whilst Muslims must not be offended.