Why The GMH Campaign?
The BBC continues to disallow humanist and secular speakers on its Thought for the Day slot in Radio 4’s Today Programme. We believe the BBC is in breach of its own charter in not allowing humanist or non-religious speakers to speak in this slot which goes out at 07:50 each weekday morning. Reasons for this are given in the latter part of this email.
What We Want You To Do
We’re asking our supporters to join us in complaining to the BBC about this, and we have supplied below our suggested response to the BBC’s complaints form which we would urge you to submit. We’re hoping that if enough people respond over the next few weeks, the BBC will take the complaint seriously – when it comes to complaints, numbers count. As well as this post on our website, we will be using our social media channels and links with other humanist groups to support us in this campaign. So please help swell the numbers by submitting your complaint.
When To Complain
It’s up to you, but soon after reading this email would be good. We’re going to keep pushing people to support the campaign over the next few weeks.
How To Complain
The BBC requires you to fill in a form on their website. Below we have supplied the proposed responses to that form. We suggest you open a new browser window for the complaints form so that you can copy the text from this email into it. The form is on the BBC’s website here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/complain-online/ – click on Make a complaint and it should only take a few minutes to complete.
Suggested Response To The Complaints Form
Have you read our page ‘What happens to your complaint?‘ Yes
Where do you live? Respond as appropriate
Please provide the first half of your postcode Respond as appropriate
What is your complaint about? Radio
Which radio station is your complaint about? Radio 4
What is the programme title? Today
When was it broadcast? Leave blank
How did you watch or listen to the programme? When it was actually broadcast
What time of day did the issue happen? 07 50
What is the best category to describe your complaint? Other
Are you following up a complaint you’ve made within the last month? No
What is the subject of your complaint? Breach of Charter
Enter your complaint in full. Copy all of the following text up to the horizontal line into the box or use your own wording:
This complaint applies to the Thought for the Day slot in the programme (hereafter referred to as TFTD) with reference to the following clauses in the BBC’s Charter:
5 The Mission of the BBC is to act in the public interest, serving all audiences through the provision of impartial, high-quality and distinctive output and services which inform, educate and entertain.
6.1 To provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them
6.4 To reflect, represent and serve the diverse communities of all of the United Kingdom’s nations and regions and, in doing so, support the creative economy across the United Kingdom
6.5 To reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world: the BBC should provide high-quality news coverage to international audiences, firmly based on British values of accuracy, impartiality, and fairness.
The BBC is therefore in breach of its charter for the following reasons:
TFTD is not impartial, because it excludes non-religious speakers. This also is unfair, thus not reflecting British values. Ref: clauses 5 and 6.5 above.
TFTD fails to inform and educate its audience about the non-religious worldview, thus enable them to understand it. Ref: clause 5 and 6.1 above.
TFTD does not represent all audiences, and therefore serve the diverse communities of the UK because the majority of UK society, according to the latest social attitudes survey, and other sources, identify as non-religious. Ref: clauses 5 and 6.4 above.
TFTD does not reflect the values of the United Kingdom to the world, in that any visitor to the UK listening to the programme would not be able to hear the values of a non-religious speaker. Ref: clauses 5 and 6.5 above.
After that say whether you want a reply and supply details as required if so.
Then submit your response.