It isn’t the thought that counts

REPORTS that the BBC’s director general Mark Thompson was in Rome on February 3 to plan the network’s coverage of the Papal visit in September to Britain, potentially beginning in Edinburgh on September 16, seem to have been greatly exaggerated.

The BBC has come under fire recently for marginalising its religious content and a perceived anti-Catholic bias (http://www.zenit.org/article-28330?l=english and see page 3 of this week’s Scottish Catholic Observer for allegations from MPs). Now it has emerged that Mr Thompson was in fact in Rome to discuss the Pope’s participation in on Radio 4’s long-running religious slot, Thought For The Day.

(http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/broadcasting/news/a203897/bbc-invites-pope-on-thought-for-the-day.html).

Forgive me for stating the obvious here, and I in no way mean to undermine the good work done on Radio Four and by those who contribute to Thought For The Day, but doesn’t this just go to prove the point that the BBC are creating a ghetto for religious programming? Surely the Papal visit will be leading the Beeb’s television news headlines in September, not relegated to a specialist three-minute slot.

In this case it really isn’t the thought that counts.

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