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Church conference to study the soaps

 They will be catching up with the latest episodes of East Enders, Coronation Street and Neighbours at this year's Churches' Media Conference at Swanwick in Derbyshire from 7 - 9 June. "Attracting some of the biggest audiences and used by stations to beat their rivals in the ratings war, the soaps often include 'material of a violent or sexual nature likely to offend'", says John Lloyd, Chairman of the Conference Planning Committee. "Like them or loathe them it is important that we sometimes take a cool look at them. With storylines that can include adultery, unwanted pregnancies, suicide, murder and a lot more moral questions, we will ask what responsibility the programme makers have. "Producers, writers and performers will tell how they tackle these thorny issues and academic researchers, journalists and broadcasters will offer their own comment. I reckon that we can look forward to quite a lively few sessions, both in the conference hall and outside in the corridors and bars!" This is just one of the many sessions lined up for the Conference organised by the Churches' Media Council and expected to attract around 300 journalists, broadcasters and church communicators. The 2004 Conference has as its title Telling the truth: media, theology and religion today and more details can be found on: www.churchesmediacouncil.org.uk. The Churches' Media Council is an agency of Churches Together in Britain & Ireland, and Churches Together in England, and has close links with other ecumenical bodies in Britain and Ireland. The Council brings together the Churches, Christian people working in and with the media, the broadcasting authorities, trainers and other national bodies.