The Church and Media Network - the parent body of theMediaNet - has appointed Dr Elaine Storkey as Chair. Elaine Storkey is a well-known Christian academic and broadcaster. A respected theologian and sociologist, she is often to be heard at conferences and on national radio, bringing a Christian perspective to 21st Century living. She is also Chair of Fulcrum and President of TEAR Fund. Elaine takes over as Chair of the Church and Media Network from Rev Dr Joel Edwards this week.
Elaine has called on the Church and media to forge a new relationship and seize the opportunities of the digital media environment. She was speaking in advance of a debate to be held next week by the Church of England’s General Synod concerning the marginalization of religion on mainstream TV channels.
“I welcome the fact that Synod is going to discuss the media,” said Dr Storkey, who is a long-standing member of the General Synod. “We need to recognize that the industry has changed and continues to change at a dizzying pace. I hope we will go beyond defensive self-interest. This is a time for prophetic and supportive voices. In this new digital media environment the Church needs to find fresh ways of working with the major broadcasters.”
The Network has issued a briefing paper to Synod members outlining the “huge missional opportunities” offered by the new digital environment and calling on the Church to find “a new positive mode of engagement.”
“We need to find new strategies to ensure that faith-based programming is lively, vibrant and plentiful,” she said. “We also need to encourage and support other key areas such as quality children’s programmes.”