BBC rejects call for non-religious speakers on Thought for the Day
By TARA CONLAN - GUARDIAN.CO.UK
Added: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to LWS for the link.
The BBC Trust has rejected calls for non-religious contributors to be allowed on Radio 4's Thought for the Day.
Complaints were made earlier this year that banning atheists, secularist or humanists from taking part in Thought for the Day breached the BBC's guidelines on impartiality.
However, today the trust said it had found that Thought for the Day is "religious output and that it is a matter of editorial discretion for the BBC executive and its director general as editor-in-chief as to whether the BBC broadcasts a slot commenting on an issue of the day from a faith perspective".
The BBC Trust editorial standards chairman, Richard Tait, said: "We understand that some people feel strongly about this issue and have given it careful consideration.
"However, we have concluded that the current arrangements do not breach BBC editorial guidelines and specifically requirements of due impartiality in content."
The BBC Trust confirmed that Thought for the Day must comply with requirements of due impartiality and that any future complaints on particular broadcasts would be judged against these standards on a case-by-case basis.
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