Category: Media

Middle East company to launch Muslim newspaper in UK

A media company based in the Middle East is launching a London-based weekly newspaper aimed at Muslim people across the world.

The paper, which is backed by the Pakistani pay-TV operator ARY Digital and will be able to tap its network of reporters covering south Asia, is earmarked to launch early in the new year.

ARY, known for broadcasting the Pakistani version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, also broadcasts to several Gulf states and in North America and the UK, where it launched in 2000 as the Pakistani Channel on Sky.

The paper, which does not yet have a name, will be edited by Burhan Wazir, a former deputy features editor at the Times who was named young journalist of the year in 1999.

Wazir said the title, which will also be published in Pakistan and several Gulf states, will serve the Muslim diaspora in the countries where it is available.

It will be a liberal title aimed at a young and relatively affluent readership aged between 20 and 45, including second- or third-generation British Muslims.

Wazir added that its target audience of young readers with Muslim backgrounds will share a modern, cosmopolitan outlook. “I suppose you could say they have a foot in both camps,” he said.

Sikh TV

Britain’s Sky will launch Sikh TV in early October. When it hits the air for the first time, Sikh TV will sit alongside a number of other religion-themed channels that are currently available on Sky. These include the Sikh Channel and Sangat TV, while an array of ‘Christian’ options – including Open Heavens TV, Gospel Channel Europe, The Word Network and GOD Channel – are also shown by the broadcaster. (Editorial note: We monitored the ‘God Channel’ while on vacation recently, and wonder who in his right mind would slap the label ‘Christian’ on it. What a sad parade of charlatans, heretics, and air-heads! When the channel first popped up Benny Hinn was right there. Sure enough he was talking about money within the next minute. Sigh…)

BBC boss Mark Thompson tells head of religion Aaqil Ahmed not to discuss his faith

When Aaqil Ahmed became the first Muslim to be the BBC’s head of religious broadcasting, he probably anticipated the controversy that it would cause among some Christians. What he did not expect, however, was that his faith would be an issue with the director-general of the corporation, Mark Thompson. Ahmed has, though, let it be known that he was told not to discuss his religion by his boss. “Mark Thompson said to me, ‘you must stop talking about this Muslim thing’,” Ahmed disclosed.

Social Science Research Council Releases Report on the Religion Blogosphere

Religion Blogosphere “The New Landscape of the Religion Blogosphere,” a newly released report by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), offers an extensive overview and analysis of the increasingly prominent role played by blogs in shaping the contemporary dynamics of religion, academia, and public life.

Drawing on a review of the work of nearly 100 blogs, as well as detailed survey responses, “The New Landscape of the Religion Blogosphere” provides both empirical data and reflection on the impact of blogging at the intersection of religion, academia, and public life.

Role of media in religion discussed

As the Religion Newswriters Association meets today through Saturday at the Menger Hotel for its annual convention, its 560 members face an environment in which many religious leaders are suspicious of journalists’ attitude toward faith; many journalists handle religion stories with inadequate knowledge; and declining advertising revenues have killed “faith and values” sections in newspapers including the Dallas Morning News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.