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Prior to Channel Four’s ‘Benefits Street’ being aired last night (6 January 2014), the tabloid press had primed its readers, with plenty of articles such as this one from the Daily Express, laden with Iain Duncan Smith-style rhetoric: ‘broken Britain, scroungers, workshy, burden on society’, etcetera.
Ekklesia staff and associates have been busy commenting, analysing and reporting on the crisis in Syria and the responses of the international community, especially the UK and US governments.
Ekklesia staff, associates and friends have been much in demand on the radio and television recently. Tomorrow (Sunday 24 March 2013), new associate Keith Hebden, an Anglican priest involved in social justice advocacy and the activist network Christianity Uncut, will be appearing on a range of local BBC radio stations across England (7am - 9am), making the case against the government's unpaid 'workfare' mandatory work placement programme.
These are incredibly tough times for quality journalism across Britain, and cuts at the BBC -- the country's flagship broadcaster -- are making things even worse.
I have been concerned about the BBC for some time. I wrote about those concerns last year and since then I believe matters have got worse, not better. As far as political coverage is concerned, this national treasure is beginning to look like a cosy club.
All too often 'peace' becomes merely the absence of war, an aspiration beyond present circumstances, a limited discourse controlled by assumptions about the normality of conflict, or a moral choice alongside 'just war'. All these lazy or restrictive assumptions need challenging - and they are being, at the first global churches' and faith-conveyed peace gathering of its kind.