News at Ten anchor warns of anti-Christian media bias
Tue, 9 Mar 2010
ITV News at Ten anchor Julie Etchingham has warned that Christians are suffering discrimination at the hands of a secular media.
Mrs Etchingham, who is a Roman Catholic, is the latest public figure to warn about the anti-Christian bias in the nation’s media.
During an interview with The Independent newspaper Mrs Etchingham lamented that the media in the UK is “very secular” and that “Christians can be discriminated against”.
Mrs Etchingham is one of many journalists who have spoken out on this issue.
In 2008 David Blevins, a former Washington correspondent with Sky News, warned that journalists select the information they wish to report based on a largely anti-Christian ideology.
When Mr Blevins was asked if the UK and American media understand evangelical Christians he replied: “Not at all.
“It’s important to remember that what appears in the newspapers is not an objective summary of the significant things that happened yesterday but an ideological selection based on the prejudices, agendas and assumptions of a relatively small group of people.
“Their ideology could be loosely defined as ‘progress will one day meet our needs.’ So as with other forms of thought that deviate from that ideological view, evangelical Christianity is either dismissed out of hand or reported in a manner that serves to reinforce the ideology!
“‘Religion’ is viewed as obscure, life-denying and regressive. Organisations like Evangelical Alliance and the Christian Institute face an uphill struggle to change that perception.”
And last year BBC presenter Jeremy Vine, a practising Anglican, admitted that he would be unable to discuss his faith on air.
Senior church leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, have also expressed concern over the BBC’s attitude towards Christianity.
A decline in religious programming at the BBC, and changes to the leadership of its Religion and Ethics department, have led to fears that the broadcaster is sidelining Christianity in favour of minority faiths.
Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, has previously said that Islam should be treated more sensitively than Christianity because Muslims are less integrated and more of a minority group.
And in 2006 executives at the BBC admitted that they would consider broadcasting a scene where the Bible was thrown into a bin but they would never do the same with the Koran.