Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Religion & Media: Edexcel RE Unit 3

Time slot: Sundays between 4 – 6 pm, 30 mins

About: Christian, inter-denominational (=ECUMENICAL) programme, though very occasionally, inter-faith issues are explored. It takes place at a church or cathedral in the community from which the interviews are taken.

A different theme is taken each week: it may be liturgical – eg about a feast or season- eg Christmas or Lent, or it may be a religious or moral idea – eg marriage, forgiveness.

A presenter interviews experts in the theme, or ordinary Christians about their faith experiences or faith journey

Programme structure: HYMN / INTERVIEW / HYMN / INTERVIEW etc ending in a PRAYER by a religious leader in the community. Hymns have words on screen.

Target audience:1. Having watched a programme yourself, what do you think? Who would normally be at home, indoors at tea-time on a Sunday? Why do you think the hymn words on screen are helpful?
2. Do you think that people with no religious faith at all might watch occasionally? What might they make of it? Which parts of the programme might they find the most interesting?
3. Does the programme show religious people and religious ideas in a good light?
4. Might this programme have an effect on people who already have religious faith? What sort of people might find it helpful/useful? What sort of people might not watch it? Why?
5. If you were giving advice to the programmes producers about improving it, what would you say?

Exam Question: 
C) Choose one programme about religion and explain how it might affect someone’s belief about God. 8marks
The programme ‘Songs of Praise’ could affect people’s belief in God I a number of ways.

Some people watching the programme, seeing hundreds of people talking about God and praying to him might make them wonder how that many could be wrong. As such they might begin to believe in God.

Other people might be inspired to believe in God through listening to the interviews that appear on the show. The interview I watched was about somebody who had prayed for something and I came true. Some people watching his might think that if it has happened to that person then God could be real.

The programme features Bible readings and hymns. People may never have heard these before and might really enjoy them or find a great deal of meaning in them. For example the book of Job says that sometimes humans suffer for no particular reason but that faith gets you through. Someone who is having a hard time e.g. in lots of debt might take hope from this story and begin to believe in God.

On the other hand Christians who have watched an interview with someone who has had a prayer answered might believe that God does not exist if their prayer has gone unanswered. A Christian hearing this who has recently lost someone to cancer might be angry that God did not answer their prayers and so become angry that God did not answer their prayers and so become an atheist.

Exam Question #2:
C) Choose an issue from religion and community cohesion presented in one form of the media and explain whether it was fair to religious people. 8marks
Starting sentence: In September 2011, the programme ‘Songs of Praise’ presented an episode commemorating the tenth anniversary since the terrorist attacks in the USA on 9/11.

1. Name the issue(s) which were presented during the interviews- ie what did the programme- makers want the audience to reflect on? 

2. Write an outline of how the issue was presented, listing the main events and the way the events explored the issue.(eg did it show any bias? did it manipulate your feelings?)

3. Were religious beliefs included in the presentation? Why do you think this approach was taken?

4. Use this information to decide whether the programme’s presentation was fair to religious belief &/or religious people? Use evidence to support ideas. 

5. Explain why it is important to religious people that the issue is presented fairly. Use evidence to support ideas.

Exam Question #3:
B) Do you think that the media present religious people fairly?  4marks

Clips from YouTube:"10 Yrs Since 9/11"

These short clips from BBC Songs of Praise with an adaptation of model answer above is enough for pupils to be able to answer if the media questions comes up on Community Cohesion.

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