PBS agrees to ban new religious TV shows

by purplesofa 4 Replies latest jw friends

  • purplesofa

    PBS agrees to ban new religious TV shows

    Compromise ends threat to stations that already broadcast church services

    updated 5:14 a.m. ET, Wed., June 17, 2009

    The Public Broadcasting Service agreed yesterday to ban its member stations from airing new religious TV programs, but permitted the handful of stations that already carry "sectarian" shows to continue doing so.

    The vote by PBS's board was a compromise from a proposed ban on all religious programming. Such a ban would have forced a few stations around the country to give up their PBS affiliation if they continued to broadcast local church services and religious lectures.

    Until now, PBS stations have been required to present programming that is noncommercial, nonpartisan and nonsectarian. But the definition of "nonsectarian" programming was always loosely interpreted, and the rule had never been strictly enforced. PBS began reviewing the definition and application of those rules last year in light of the transition to digital TV and with many stations streaming programs over their Web sites. The definition doesn't cover journalistic programs about religion or discussion programs that don't favor a particular religious point of view.

    click link for rest of story http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31400910/from/ET/

  • purplesofa

    PBS' Sectarian Neighborhood

    PBS is banning all new religious programs to comply more faithfully with 1985 bylaws that require programs to be "noncommercial, nonpartisan and nonsectarian." The PBS board's decision doesn't effect any religious programs now airing.

    Only a few PBS affiliates have any religious programs at all. Unless you count Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which I do but only because the late, great Fred Rogers -- an ordained Presbyterian minister -- saw his kind and gentle, soft-shoe and sweater work as a ministry and a calling. Mister Rogers never talked about Jesus. He just acted like him.

    I digress. Only six of the 356 PBS members stations currently broadcast "sectarian" programs, but three of those stations are owned and operated by religious organizations with clear sectarian missions. Should the PBS board have paid less attention to the handful of religious programs and looked more closely at their religious programmers?

    KBYU in Provo, Utah, is operated by Brigham Young University, which is affiliated with the Mormon Church. According to its mission statement, "KBYU Television is dedicated to serving an audience with programming that reflects the values and mission of its sponsoring institutions, Brigham Young University and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." KBYU broadcasts "BYU Devotional" two hours each day. The devotions include lectures from LDS leaders.

    KMBH is operated by the Catholic Diocese of Brownsville, Texas. According to its Web site, the mission of KMBH is "to promote the arts, spiritual values and cultural development." The site also says "the original purpose of the foundation of KMBH could not be fulfilled without a clear Catholic direction." The station broadcasts six hours of religious programming each week, including Sunday mass, Bible study in Spanish, and a program hosted by a priest. In 2007, the station declined to air "Hand of God," a "Frontline" documentary about clergy sexual abuse.

    WLAE in New Orleans is partly owned and operated by the Willwoods Community, a Catholic lay organization. "We seek to inspire all of God's children to create a more enlightened and caring society," WLEA's mission statement reads. The station broadcasts a daily Mass.

    I have no doubt that all three of those affiliates are great neighbors in their respective communities. And I don't want to sound like Oscar the Grinch, but should religious organizations be using taxpayer supported public television to carry out sectarian missions?


  • superpunk

    They're obviously turning on false religion.

    PBS just tipped off the Great Tribulation. Any day now....

  • JeffT

    Gee, I thrilled to know that I'm apparently not part of the "public."

  • WTWizard

    Good. PBS is supposed to be educational. Religion tends to lead mankind into the Dark Ages and superstition. Which is the exact opposite of what good education is supposed to do.

    Yes, I can see grandfathering in programs that are religiously biased but that are great hits, or that document the differences between different religions. But to have new religious services broadcast as "education" is a travesty.

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