Institutionally, the BBC doesn’t much care for evangelical Christians, one of the broadcaster’s former newsmen says.
Dennis Sewell worked for more than 20 years at BBC News and says the Corporation views “religious faith” as “a hangover from a bygone age”.
He has produced a report which accuses the BBC of being over-considerate towards Islam — in marked contrast to its treatment of Christianity.
Writing for The Telegraph, he says there are “certain people and things that the BBC institutionally doesn’t much care for”, including “evangelical Christians”.
He says the publicly-funded broadcaster has a liberal bias that is more cultural than political.
He warned: “Cultural biases may be less obvious than political biases, but they are no less significant.
“Broadcasting plays an important role in the shaping and embedding of values. It helps set the tone of the national conversation.
“It plays a major part in establishing what can respectably be thought and said, what is considered mainstream, and what idiosyncratic, maverick, or beyond the pale.
“Cultural biases operate subtly and insidiously in drama, arts, documentaries, comedy, entertainment and religious programmes.”
Dennis Sewell has produced a new report examining the issue, called “A Question of Attitude: the BBC and Bias Beyond News”, published by the New Culture Forum.
Commenting on the report, The Telegraph’s Cristina Odone wrote: “Ring! ring! ring! My BlackBerry displays an ‘unknown number’. I steel myself: this could be the BBC asking me to contribute to a religious programme.
“If I’m lucky, it will be a ‘good’ producer: knowledgeable about the issue in question, respectful of my beliefs and others’, and unbiased.
“But then there’s the dud producer, whose sneering attitude towards religion in general and Christianity in particular oozes from every word.
“Sadly, as Dennis Sewell’s important report, ‘A Question of Attitude: the BBC and Bias Beyond News’, reveals, the duds outnumber the good guys.”
She adds: “Religion is held in contempt – especially the Evangelicals and the Catholics, who are seen as hopelessly out of sync with progressive notions like gay marriage.”