IAHR congress ||| Paper

Secular voices on air? Western debates on religion, secularism and Public Service Broadcasting

Tim Karis (KHK post-doc)

Regulatory frameworks of public service broadcasters (PSBs) across Europe are full of references to religions. In Germany, for example, the Catholic and Protestant Churches as well as the Jewish communities are legally provided with air time on PSB television and radio. In times of increasing religious diversity as well as growing secularization, criticisms of such regulation is spreading as many consider it to run counter to the principle of separation of state and religion. Others argue that existing privileges for religions should be extended to secular groups who have hitherto often been excluded from direct access to PSBs either by law or by common practice. In this paper, recent examples of such debates from the German, British and Dutch contexts are presented. As it is argued, an analysis of such debates reveals how different and often ambiguous notions of religion, secularity and the public space are competing in Western discourse.

This paper will be presented in panel Journalism and Religion: Critical Terms in Public Discourse (24-322 | 114)


Photograph of Dr. Tim Karis

Dr. Tim Karis

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