Religious broadcasting


Religious broadcasting

Religious broadcasting refers to broadcasting by religious organizations, usually with a religious message. Many religious organizations have long recorded content such as sermons and lectures, and have moved into distributing content on their Internet websites.

While this article emphasises dedicated religious broadcasters, many non-dedicated stations transmit religious programs; a state with no religious station may broadcast much religious programming.

Religious broadcasting can be funded commercially or through some sort of public broadcasting-style arrangement (religious broadcasters are often recognized as non-profit organizations). Donations from listeners and viewers, often tax-deductible, are solicited by some broadcasters.[1]

In some countries, particularly those with an established state religion, broadcasting related to one particular religion only is allowed, or in some cases required. For example a function of the state-owned Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation is by law "to broadcast such programmes as may promote Islamic ideology, national unity and principles of democracy, freedom equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam..." (s. 10(1)(b)).

Contents

Radio

(The distinction between radio and television broadcasters is not rigid; broadcasters in both areas may appear in the Radio or Television section in this article.)

Australia

Religious radio stations include

Netherlands

  • Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation [2]
  • Humanistische Omroep: A small broadcaster dedicated to secular Humanism.
  • IKON (Interkerkelijke Omroep Nederland): A small broadcaster representing a diverse set of nine mainstream Christian churches.
  • Joodse Omroep The new name of NIKmedia (Nederlands-Israëlitisch Kerkgenootschap): Dutch-Jewish broadcaster.
  • NIO (Nederlandse Islamitische Omroep): Small Islamic broadcaster.
  • NMO (Nederlandse Moslim Omroep): Small Islamic broadcaster, slightly more progressive than the NIO.
  • OHM (Organisatie Hindoe Media): Small Hindu broadcaster.
  • RKK (Rooms-Katholiek Kerkgenootschap): Small Roman Catholic broadcaster, actual programming produced by the KRO. Roman Catholic events and services on television are broadcast by the RKK.
  • ZvK (Zendtijd voor Kerken): Small broadcaster that broadcasts church services from some smaller Protestant churches.

United Kingdom

In the UK there were as of March 2006 fewer than ten radio stations defining themselves as Christian. British broadcasting laws prohibit religious organisations, political parties, local government and trade unions from running national analogue terrestrial stations. Some religious radio stations are available in certain areas on the MW (medium wave) or VHF (FM) wavebands; others transmit using other methods, some of them nationally (such as via digital terrestrial TV broadcasting, satellite and cable).

There are two main stations, Premier Radio is available on MW in the London area and United Christian Broadcasters is available via DAB in both the London and Stoke on Trent areas.

There are several UK-based radio stations which serve a genre group or locality, such as Cross Rhythms based in Stoke-on-Trent, a contemporary music station with a local FM community radio licence. Branch FM operates across West Yorkshire and is a volunteer-run community Christian radio station. Like most other local Christian stations, they also use the Internet to gain national coverage.

There are other UK-based radio channels which apply for regular temporary licenses, such as Flame FM on the Wirral, Cheshire which applies for two months of local FM broadcasting per year via a Restricted Service Licence (RSL), and Refresh FM, which regularly broadcasts in Manchester for 3 or 4 weeks over the Easter period.

Also there are religious broadcasters that transmit to the UK from outside on medium wave at night (when MW signals travel much further) by buying airtime on commercial stations such as Manx Radio (from the Isle of Man) and Trans World Radio (from Monte Carlo).

Although there are tight restrictions on religious groups setting up their own radio and TV stations, there is a legal requirement for the BBC and ITV to broadcast a certain amount of religious programming. Some commercial local radio stations carry a limited amount of religious programming, particularly in Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland

Television

(The distinction between radio and television broadcasters is not rigid; broadcasters in both areas may appear in the Radio or Television section in this article.)

Africa

T.B. Joshua's Emmanuel TV.[3]

Ezekiel TV is a Christian television network started by Ezekiel Guti of ZAOGA Forward in Faith Ministries International (FIFMI) in 2008, based in South Africa. Most of the programming is from Zimbabwe, where ZAOGA FIFMI is headquartered. The channel broadcasts on the internet on the FIFMI Website, www.fifmi.org

Middle East

In the Middle East, Christian satellite broadcaster SAT-7 operates five channels, SAT-7 ARABIC, SAT-7 PARS (Farsi), SAT-7 KIDS (Arabic), SAT-7 PLUS (Arabic) and SAT-7 TÜRK (Turkish), which broadcast in the prominent languages of the region with more than 80% of programs made by and for people of the region.[4] SAT-7's satellite footprints reach 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as 50 countries in Europe, with "free to air" programming. SAT7, founded in 1995, is the first and largest Christian satellite broadcast organization operating in the region. It is supported by Christian churches from a variety of denominations in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as supporters from Europe, North America [1], and Asia.

Pakistan

A function of the state-owned Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation is by law "to broadcast such programmes as may promote Islamic ideology, national unity and principles of democracy, freedom equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam..." (s. 10(1)(b)).

Turkey

Islamic broadcasters include[5]:

  • TGRT, Turkey’s first nationwide "Islamic" television channel, est. 1993
  • STV, affiliated with the Gülen movement, est. 1994
  • Kanal 7
  • Mesaj TV

United Kingdom

In the UK, religious television operates differently from the US. No religious station broadcasts on the five analog terrestrial channels (which are to be phased out by 2012). Most religious stations transmit via direct-to-home satellite, some are streamed live via the Internet. The BBC and ITV broadcast religious programmes, such as Songs of Praise and Highway, as part of their public service remit. The 2009 Ofcom report found that religious broadcasting on public service channels was watched on average for 2.7 hours per year in 2008, decreasing steadily from 3.2 in 2006 and 3.6 in 2001. In 2006, 5% of viewers found religious broadcasting to be of personal importance.[6]

In 2010 the commercial television broadcasters reduced their religious output due to poor viewing figures; at the start of the year ITV1 planned to show one hour and Channel Five had no plans. The BBC is obliged by its licence to broadcast 110 hours per year.[7]

Dedicated religious channels available include:

  • Daystar, US network. Creation videos with music. Teaching and preaching. On Freeview from 28 February 2011[8]
  • GOD TV, based in Sunderland (UK), is the longest established of the currently running TV channels on Sky in the UK, and the only one that is also on the major cable TV systems in the UK.
  • God's Learning Channel (GLC) broadcasts the same lineup simultaneously to the US and Europe via the Eutelsat W-2 Satellite for Direct-to-Home broadcast.
  • Inspiration, US Network. Programming from around the world. Preaching. Missionary bias.
  • Islam Channel. Broadcasts across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and streamed on the Internet, and will broadcast in North America. Ruled to have breached the UK broadcasting code by airing discussions containing contentious views on violence against women and marital rape in 2008-9.[9]
  • Revelation TV, in London, produce a lot of live programmes from their studios.

See also List of Islamic television and radio stations in the United Kingdom

United States

In the United States, Christian organizations are by far the most widespread compared with other religions, with upwards of 1,600 television and radio stations across the country (not necessarily counting broadcast translators, though because many outlets have low power and repeat national telecasts, the difference is often hard to define).

Christian television outlets in the U.S. usually broadcast in the UHF band. While there are many religious content providers for religious and faith-based television, there are few nationally recognized non-commercial television networks such as Daystar Television Network (operated by Marcus Lamb and Joni Lamb) and Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) (operated by Paul Crouch and Jan Crouch). Unlike the larger religious network providers available to the mass public, many smaller religious organizations have a presence on cable television systems, either with their own channels (such as the 3ABN service) or by transmissions on public-access television (common for local congregations) or leased access channels. Sunday mornings often see religious broadcasts on regular commercial broadcasting and BBC outlets. Religious broadcasters in the U.S. include:

Industry organizations

United States

Christian broadcasters (but not other religions) in the U.S. are organized through the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) organization.

United Kingdom

The UK equivalent of the NRB is the Christian Broadcasting Council, but affiliation is much less common. Additionally in the UK is the Church and Media Network, formed in 2009 as a successor to the Churches' Media Council, which states that it seeks to be a bridge between the media and the Christian community.

Funding

Financially, US channels tend to fare a lot better than UK based ones. The American concept of asking viewers to donate money to a channel to keep it going on air is considered more culturally acceptable than in the UK; as a result more money is raised this way. There used to be no advertising revenue model – the traditional method of running commercial TV in the UK – that worked for religious TV channels[citation needed]. The UK government's Broadcasting Act 1990 allowed ownership of broadcasting licences by religious organisations and their officers and those who controlled them in some circumstances;[12] this had previously not been allowed.

Religious channels aimed at a UK audience could get around this previous restriction by basing themselves offshore, often in a European country that permits asking viewers for money on air. Stations may appear to be based in the UK, but actually broadcast from another country. However Ofcom since lifted the restriction, and channels with UK licences can now ask for funds on air.

The other primary method for raising funds to run religious channels is to sell airtime. Traveling preachers and large churches and ministries often set up a TV department filming what they do; they then buy slots on TV channels to show their programmes. Often the same programme from an organization is shown on several channels at different times as they buy slots. The vast majority of organizations which do this are US-based. In the UK this tends to make Christian TV channels appear to be US-based, as most material originates there. Some UK TV channels have invested in making programmes to complement the sold air time slots – most notably GOD TV and Revelation TV.

See also


References

  1. ^ A typical example of a religious broadcaster soliciting donations
  2. ^ Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation website
  3. ^ Manasa, Makweembo (2010-02-11). "TB Joshua - 21st Century Prophet In Our Midst?". Zambian Watchdog. http://www.zambianwatchdog.com/2010/02/11/tb-joshua-21st-century-prophet-in-our-midst/. 
  4. ^ Website of Middle Eastern Christian broadcaster Sat-7
  5. ^ The rise of "Islamic" broadcasting in Turkey
  6. ^ Ofcom: Public Service Broadcasting, Annual reports 2005-2010
  7. ^ Daily Telegraph newspaper: ITV will broadcast just one hour of religious programming this year, 23 June 2010
  8. ^ Daystar starts Freeview broadcasts
  9. ^ Islam Channel breaches broadcasting code
  10. ^ Islamic Broadcasting Network
  11. ^ New York Jewish Radio
  12. ^ UK Broadcasting Act 1990

External links


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