Channel 4 chief to help churches face the future

By staff writers
27 Mar 2007

Channel 4 Chief Executive Andy Duncan is to help churches face the future, and give the keynote address to this year’s Churches’ Media Conference.

Duncan, who is a practising Christian, will speak about the future shape of the media, and how faith communities need to adapt in order to relate to it. He will be joined by Mark Browning, the Programme Director who has taken Heart to the top slot in London’s crowded commercial radio market.

The Churches’ Media Conference is an annual gathering of leaders from the media and from faith communities.

This year’s conference - entitled A Future and a Hope - will explore how the digital revolution will impact the Christian church, and what room will be left for faith in the new media landscape. There will be keynote sessions on society, technology, and the future shape of belief in the UK.

Representatives of churches have frequently complained that faith does not figure sufficiently in media programming.

Two years ago however the BBC's director general Mark Thompson urged Christians to be more creative and 'subversive' in their broadcasting approaches. He suggested that religion was actually at the forefront of broadcasting.

Director of the Churches’ Media Council and a former BBC producer, Andrew Graystone said "In the past the relationship between church and media has often been an uneasy one. But the presence of industry leaders at this conference is evidence of a real openness on both sides to create a more mature relationship. The Churches' Media Conference 2007 is a unique opportunity for media professionals and faith leaders to engage in lively debate about the challenge of the digital future."

Other speakers at the conference include Dr Mohammed Abdul Bari, chair of the Muslim Council of Britain, and comedy guru Armando Iannucci.

The conference will take place from Monday 11th - Wednesday 13th June 2007 at the Hayes Conference Centre, Derbyshire.

Details, including the booking form, can be found at www.churchesmediacouncil.org.uk/conference

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