Opinion Former Article

BHA: Today programme host says Thought for the Day should have secular voices

Prominent BBC journalist and host of the Today programme Evan Davis has questioned the continuing absence of non-religious voices on the BBC’s preeminent slot considering moral issues.

Speaking to the Independent, Mr Davis said of the Thought for the Day slot: "I think there's a very serious debate about whether the spot – which I would keep – might give space to what one might call 'serious and spiritually minded secularists'. I don't think "Thought for the Day" has to only be people of the cloth." Mr Davis has previously described the bias in favour of religious contributors as "discriminating against the non-religious".

Fellow Today presenter John Humphrys has also expressed his view that if the programme is to continue to air, non-religious speakers should be allowed to contribute.

BHA Head of Public Affairs Pavan Dhaliwal commented: ‘Evan Davis’ call for an equal hearing of non-religious and religious viewpoints on moral issues of the day is a welcome one. Our campaign for equal treatment of a genuine variety of perspectives on moral issues in broadcasting has been a long standing one, leading to a number of meetings with senior BBC executives and submissions in response to consultations. However, the BBC’s egregious and unfathomable insistence that only religious views on moral issues of the day are valid persists.'

Notes

Email the BBC Trust calling for them to make ‘Thought for the Day’ inclusive

For further comment or information contact Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs at pavan@humanism.org.uk or on 0773 843 5059.

Read the article in the Independent

Read about BHA Distinguished Supporter Ariane Sherine’s atheist ‘Thought for the Afternoon’ on BBC Radio 4

Read more about the BHA’s work on broadcasting

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief

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