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Monday, March 27, 2017
Irish radio committed to religious broadcasting
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¬†New research published by the Irish Churches Council for Television and Radio Affairs (ICCTRA) shows a significant commitment to religious programming by local/community radio stations in the Republic of Ireland. The research, commissioned by ICCTRA and undertaken by Council member Ms Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer for the Irish Bishops' Conference, had a response rate of 70% from 46 radio stations contacted in January of this year. The research shows that: ∑ 57% of the stations that responded have at least one religious radio programme per week ranging in time from half an hour to one hour in duration; ∑ 15% of respondents said they have no religious programming; ∑ many local radio stations feature a reflective Thought for the Day slot during mainstream programmes; ∑ 50% of respondents said that they produce additional religious programmes/features for Christmas, Lent and Easter each year including the broadcasting of religious services. ∑ 36% of respondents said they would welcome more support from the various Church groups in their locality in the production of religious programming. Commenting on the survey results Brenda Drumm said: "While these figures are encouraging, the clear message of the survey seems to be that there is a need for greater cooperation between local radio stations and church representatives." Commenting on the survey the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Neill said: "The survey on religious broadcasting gives us an insight into an area of broadcast programming that is uniquely important in the role it plays in Irish society. It is important that broadcasters are acknowledged for the effort they put into maintaining the quality of religious programmes and that they should be encouraged to continue exploring this aspect of content creatively as it is capable of contributing positively to social dialogue ≠ often having an impact far bigger than the time allocated to such programming might suggest." The Chairman of the Communications Commission of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference, Bishop Joseph Duffy said: "The commitment shown by local radio stations to religious programming is not surprising when you consider the place of religion in the private and public lives of people in Ireland today. The Church needs to continually find ways of using the broadcast media in proclaiming its perennial message of peace and reconciliation and local radio is invaluable to us in doing this." For more information see: Source: Irish Catholic Media Office
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