In today’s large and complex society, broadcasting – especially public service broadcasting – is one of the main ways in which citizens and communities can learn about and from each other; it is also one of the main sources of information for large numbers of people. The BHA campaigns for an end to the privileged position of religion in broadcasting and for programmes about Humanism. In particular, we lobby the BBC, Ofcom and the Government.
When the Communications Act 2003 was passed, the BHA scored a considerable success in its long struggle to get humanist broadcasting. Since that Act, the law requires programmes on “religion and other beliefs”, and it specifies that belief “means a collective belief in, or other adherence to, a systemised set of ethical or philosophical principles or of mystical or transcendental doctrines”. At the time, the Government made clear that the “reference to other beliefs…would include ethical systems or philosophies such as humanism”. See our briefing prior to the act (PDF).
We want the BBC to meet its obligations under the Communications Act 2003.
We want Ofcom, the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, to ensure that public service broadcasters – including the five terrestrial channels – meet their obligations in treating religious and non-religious programming equally.