Room C211, College Building, Hendon
The Professor in Professional Practice at Middlesex University School of Media and Performing Arts delivers his inaugural lecture.
Religious Programming in an Age of Religious Illiteracy: The Case for Religion on TV and Radio
In an age where religion is seen by some as the root of all evil and by others as the truth, where does Religion in the Media fit into this mix?
Is it part of the solution to the lack of religious literacy or a relic from the past?
Does it have a role in creating social cohesion or is it narrow casting to a dwindling bunch of followers?
Should Religion on TV and Radio be consigned to the dustbin of history or can we ill afford to take it seriously?
Professor Aaqil Ahmed has shaped Religion on the box for over a decade at Channel 4 and the BBC and will lay out why he believes we dismiss it at our peril as God slot programming and as a market failure genre.
Religion is back in the public space and this time it's different.
Aaqil AhmedHead of Commissioning - Religion TV and Head of Religion and Ethics
Aaqil has been in post for close to five years. He joined from Channel 4 where he was the Commissioning Editor for Religion and the Head of Multicultural Programming. Currently Aaqil combines commissioning the religious TV output with managing the in house multimedia Religion and Ethics Department and being the BBC's overall Head of Religion.
Over the past four years Aaqil has commissioned projects as diverse as The Life of Muhammad, The Preston Passion, The Ottomans and Pilgrimage with Simon Reeve. He also lead the in-house teams coverage of the Papal visit and the award winning 50th anniversary of Songs of Praise and heads a department that also delivers radio output such as Thought for the Day and the Moral Maze.
At Channel 4 he commissioned award-winning and genre-defining projects such as Inside the Mind of the Suicide Bomber, Saving Africa's Witch Children, Priest Idol and The Qur'an. Prior to joining Channel 4 in 2003, he spent over ten years in production at the BBC working on a rich mix of programming from Panorama to Everyman.
He is a Professor at The School of Media and Performing Arts, Middlesex University; a regular speaker and writer on the Media and Cultural Diversity and has contributed as a group member or chair to various educational and work related groups from formerly being a trustee of the Runnymede trust to being a steering group member of the religion and society programme.
Aaqil is currently a board member of Mosaic (Muslim mentoring organisation set up by Prince Charles), Chair of the Creative Diversity Network Commissioning Group, a patron of the Curriculum for Cohesion and the President of the BBC black and Asian workers forum.