On the 10th March 2016 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, spoke in a short debate on the BBC Charter Review. He expanded on these remarks in a subsequent blog post.
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: My Lords, the BBC has three core purposes: to inform, to educate and to entertain. Will the Minister comment on a fourth purpose, which is to interpret? Diversity has been perceived in terms of regional diversity when one could also say that ethnic and religious diversity in the country need to be taken more seriously. Religion is a primary motivator of individuals and communities, inspiring and informing their political, economic, ethical and social behaviour.
It needs to be interpreted. What the world looks like when seen through a particular religious lens needs to be taken more seriously. In July 2015, Ofcom expressed concern about the diminution of attention to religion in the BBC. Can the Minister assure us that this will be taken more seriously in the charter renewal?
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Neville-Rolfe) (Con): [extract]….The right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Leeds rightly asked about the fourth issue, diversity, which has been raised by a number of people in our various consultations. The Secretary of State recently met Lenny Henry and is considering carefully how we can encourage greater diversity in what the BBC does. I also ought to respond, because I had not planned to cover it in any detail, to the comments made about regional diversity, which has also been an important part of the process and the consultation and which we will look at when we come to make decisions on the White Paper.