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Bishop questions BBC for axing Head of Religion

by Desmond Busteed

Instead, the BBC's creating a new post called "head of science, business, history and religion (specialist factual)'.

Right Rev Nick Baines has questioned what religion's place will be amongst the other topics, and whether the person holding the post will adequately balance religion with the others.

Mr Baines also questioned whether religious content on the BBC would ultimately end up as a "fill in" programming, and who exactly would be ultimately responsible for it. He also questioned why BBC News had Politics, Economics and Sport Editors, but not a religious one.

He said on his blog: "At a time when it is impossible to understand the modern world - its politics, economics, military and humanitarian events - without understanding religion, why is religion not being prioritised as needing expert interpretation in the public and broadcast sphere?

"You don't have to have a religious bone in your body to see the need for this sort of exploration and interpretation in the media.

"Whether personally religious or not, religion cannot be avoided by any serious observer as a serious factor in shaping - for good or ill - the actions and motivations of people and communities."

Emma Swain, the Factual Commissioning Editor for the BBC, said: "I want to shape a factual commissioning team with fewer leaders, clearer distinction between roles, greater alignment with channels and external stakeholders and greater flexibility."

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