October 6, 2022

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NRK may broadcast religious services - Vårt Land

NRK may broadcast religious services – Vårt Land

This is a commander. The leader expresses Fartland’s view. The Editor-in-Chief and Political Editor are responsible for the content.

In principle, it is not new when NRK now wants to broadcast a television service every Sunday. The service is broadcast on NRK Radio every Sunday. Devotions are broadcast on P1 four days a week. Church services are broadcast on television on special occasions. The last mourning ceremony was at the Oslo Cathedral on June 26 this year.

Keeping religious preaching out of public places is not neutral. It is the result of a particular value point of view.

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But many will likely be pleased that NRK is now expanding this offering. It gives another chance to live with the service when it is broadcast on TV. There is no substitute for physical presence. But there are many who, for various reasons, do not have the opportunity to do so.

In both Denmark and Sweden, public broadcasters broadcast the service every Sunday – and Radio Sweden broadcasts on television in preparation for the Sunday evening script on Saturday evenings. To the extent Norway is special, it is because we do not offer this as a regular show.

Protests against preaching

There are still protests against this expansion of preaching on the state channel. The same arguments are made against broadcast devotional and against broadcast services: the state institution should not broadcast the preaching of a particular religion.

But keeping religious preaching out of public places is not neutral. It is an expression of a certain value point of view, and it is by no means uncontroversial. It is not the case that values ​​and aspirations for life are not preached in other programmes.

Of course, NRK still has editorial responsibility for everything it broadcasts. NRK can’t become a cashless carryover for anything.

Christianity is an important part of culture

For NRK, offering religious programming is part of maintaining market share. There is a demand for such programs, and when they are not covered by NRK, the listeners and viewers will go elsewhere.

But this is also part of the responsibility as a public broadcaster. This means to reflect the culture you are a part of. Christianity in Norway is an important part of the culture, and it is also something that means a lot to many people.

Then it is also a fact that we have become a diverse community, and many other religions are now represented. Therefore, NRK must also reflect this, as it has done, among other things, with its Ramadan programming.

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