What Does The Media Look Like in 2019?


When historians write about the current decade what will they say? As it nears its end, it’s a question worth thinking about. Was it the time when finally the seriousness of climate change was recognised? The era when we began to wrestle with the epic proportions of abuse in many of our great institutions? The decade of the explosion of social media and AI? The time in which China assumed its role of global dominance? The era of decline, division and disaster in the former powerhouse of the global economy – the industrialised North.

These questions and more are incredibly difficult to answer without the benefit of hindsight.

Without the gift of prophecy, but with a panel of expert practitioners and theorists, last month Christians in Media attempted to answer a more manageable version of this question… “What will the media look like in 2019?”

Now an annual event, the futurecasting gathering attracted a good crowd in a central London venue to listen to the panel musing on trends in tech, the theology of human relationships in the digital era and how the ancient Good News might have something to say to a wider society which is fearful, overwrought and seeking direction.

The panel was chaired by James Poulter, an expert in social media, voice tech and AI. Fresh from an Alexa conference in Tennessee, James steered the panel through an hour’s worth of conversation which would have lasted much longer. Despite the fissiparous times in which we live, the room buzzed with excitement at the potential for Christian values of grace, truth and hope to infuse the media and, as a result, the rest of society in 2019 and beyond.

Setting the scene, Dr Sara Schumacher, an expert in theology and the arts at St Mellitus College, told the audience that she predicts younger generations will teach older generations how to use media well. Older generations will teach younger generations what it means to be human.

She touched on the idea that people are trying to find their own order in a disorderly world. Most notably, after Netflix aired Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, donations to charity shops doubled - proving that it touched a cord with audiences worldwide.

Picking up on the theme of disorder, Warren Nettleford – an experienced ITN journalist – said “The only known unknown is that we’ll have confusion but we’re not sure what that confusion will lead to.”

“As a journalist we have to be more responsible than ever before,” he continues. “People are looking for other forums and channels to get answers to what they want. There is a loss of trust in established media channels.”


The multi award-winning Church of England digital team has overseen a spate of innovations in the past couple of years. Amaris Cole is a core part of the team and struck a positive note when telling the room how much progress was being made in the digital space by an institution with a reputation for more bucolic pursuits. Amaris said: “We’re focusing on faith in the home- families are using Alexa devices, we want to help parents to grow faith with their children.”

The Rev Dr Christopher Landau, a former BBC journalist, is part of a dynamic church in Oxford. From his vantage point working with students who have grown up as ‘digital natives’ his reflections were encouraging, stating that lo-fi social media and digital minimalism are among trends to look out for in 2019.

Brexit was never far from the minds of those present, with the uncertainty over what will happen regularly acknowledged as a cause of real anxiety. Yet the overwhelming tone of the panel wasn’t bleak – and maybe that’s what sets apart an event taking place within a Christian framework? Hope was never far from the lips of those asking questions or giving answers. Whether it’s the astonishing ways in which smart speakers now allow the transmission of prayers from an app to the family meal table or the profound way in which Christian theology gives a horizon beyond the backbiting and bile of politics in 2019.

Christians in Media exists for those who work in many fields of both secular and faith media. It has members in advertising, PR, broadcast, social, print, and many forms of digital. One of the things which unites these fields is the way they influence public opinion and mood. In a time of acute discomfort in the political process, the economy and the wider social environment, it’s vital Christians act as salt in the midst of their workplaces. Christians in media environments can often feel isolated which churches can be sceptical of those who work in secular media environments.

This event showed why it’s important Christians remain committed to truth and justice and creating excellent content for wide dissemination. It also showed that we may look back on 2019 as a year of positives as well as negatives.

What Does the Future Hold for Journalists in the Digital Age?


In an era of social media and fake news, journalists who have survived the print plunge have new foes to face.

“We are, for the first time in modern history, facing the prospect of how societies would exist without reliable news,” Alan Rusbridger, for 20 years the editor-in-chief of the Guardian, recently warned.

Technology has radically altered the news landscape, he argues, and once-powerful newspapers have lost their clout or been purchased by owners with particular agendas. 

Algorithms select which stories we see. The internet allows consequential revelations, closely guarded secrets, and dangerous misinformation to spread at the speed of a click.

These sinister developments have dire implications for the future of democracy, Rusbridger argues in his book The Remaking of Journalism.

What is true here is also true in the US, the New Yorker’s Jill Lepore writes. 

She says that between January, 2017 and April, 2018 a third of America’s largest newspapers, including the Denver Post and the San Jose Mercury News, reported layoffs. 

In a newer trend, so did about a quarter of digital-native news sites. 

“BuzzFeed News laid off a hundred people in 2017; speculation is that BuzzFeed is trying to dump it. The Huffington Post paid most of its writers nothing for years, upping that recently to just above nothing,” she writes.

“And yet, despite taking in tens of millions of dollars in advertising revenue in 2018, it failed to turn a profit.”

The New Yorker quotes former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson as saying that “there are not that many places left that do quality news well or even aim to do it at all”.

The local story, the magazine says, is worse and its exceptionally high mortality rate is now so well known that it has almost become old news.

Even so, the rate of decline of local papers in the US is still terrifying. Between 1970 and 2016, the year the American Society of News Editors quit counting, five hundred or so dailies went out of business; the rest cut news coverage, or shrank the paper’s size, or stopped producing a print edition, or did all of that, and it still wasn’t enough.


“The numbers mask an uglier story. In the past half century, and especially in the past two decades, journalism itself—the way news is covered, reported, written, and edited—has changed, including in ways that have made possible the rise of fake news, and not only because of mergers and acquisitions, and corporate ownership, and job losses, and Google Search and Facebook and BuzzFeed,” Lepore says in the New Yorker article.

“There’s no shortage of amazing journalists at work, clear-eyed and courageous, broad-minded and brilliant, and no end of fascinating innovation in matters of form, especially in visual storytelling. 

“But journalism, as a field, is as addled as an addict, gaunt, wasted, and twitchy, its pockets as empty as its nights are sleepless. It’s faster than it used to be, so fast. It’s also edgier, and needier, and angrier.” 

But don’t sink too much into a pit of despair, The Guardian’s Roy Greenslade argues, because the trade is not completely dead yet.

“The optimists fall into two categories,” he writes. “The Micawbers who believe it will come right in the end, as if by magic; and the Googlers who have adopted the digital revolution’s mantra, innovate or die.”

Greenslade argues that a new breed of entrepreneur has emerged who believe that it’s possible to not only to persuade readers to pay for access to newspaper and magazine content but also persuade advertisers to pay a sensible amount for their ads by providing them with proof that the ads have been read and understood.

One of the entrepreneurs quoted in Greenslade’s article is Rowly Bourne, co-founder of a startup called Rezonence.

Bourne argues that publishers are making as little as 50p per reader per year from digital. As a response to this, many of them have erected paywalls which restricts access to journalistic material. Moreover, readers who do pay for access are irritated by the number of ads that intrude on their reading experience.

“I believe there is a better way,” Bourne says. “Instead of a paywall, we call it a freewall. It’s a simple cost-per-engagement mechanism in which readers are presented with a single advertisement. In order to read the full article, they are required to answer a relatively simple question below the ad. This proves to the advertiser that the readers have paid attention to their brand.”

According to his company’s own estimates, freewall access to a site by, say, 10 million users would produce more than £10 per reader. By contrast, it is doubtful if paywalls produce 60p per reader.

Another entrepreneur, Dominic Young, founder of a startup called Agate, believes that circulation revenue could provide the answer to journalism’s woes.. He has developed a method aimed at encouraging readers to make payments into an online wallet. They pre-pay an amount into the wallet, which gives them access to a range of outlets, and the price of each article is deducted by the publisher. Each site can charge as much or as little as it thinks appropriate. When the wallet is empty, the reader can top it up.

“Meanwhile, as every online Guardian reader knows,” concludes Greenslade, “the paper has enjoyed success by asking readers for voluntary contributions. More than 1 million people worldwide have made a donation over the past three years, with 500,000 of them paying on a regular basis.

“No one can be certain which of these funding models will work in the long term and, incidentally, they are not mutually exclusive. But they should give journalists hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been walking down for the last 20 years or so.”

So it could just be that rumours of the death of the industry are exaggerated…

Alastair Tancred, Christians in Media Editor

Church and Media Conference 2018: A Reflection

Our Editor Alastair Tancred describes his day at the Christians in Media annual conference.

The wonderfully well-lit and spacious venue of St Mary’s in London – a church which justifiably prides itself in being free of religion but not Christianity– was the space for this year’s conference.

It was an eventful day from the outset. Arriving guests and delegates received a comprehensive welcome pack which included news that we have been re-Christened with a new and much more appropriate name – Christians in Media.

No sooner had we digested this – along with the delicious biscuits that accompanied our morning coffee – than our ultra-capable Mistress of Ceremonies brought proceedings to a start. Author Vicky Walker kept us on track and on time throughout the day.

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Interview by Chine McDonald with June Sarpong MBE:

Theme: Broadcaster and author June cogently discussed this year’s conference theme – change, diversity and minority voices.

Memorable quotes: [Discussing famous people she had interviewed during her career, including George Clooney and Tony Blair]: “My favourite has to be Will Smith. He’s everything you expect him to be.”

[Speaking of her quandary as to whether she would pursue a career in journalism]: “My mind said follow your dreams.”

[Speaking of getting an MBE]: “It really mattered when I got the MBE. There is not enough representation in a positive light of black people in the media.”

[Speaking about social media]: “Now you can find your audience even if you do not know anyone.”

[Talking about overcoming discrimination in the workplace]: “In the US you cannot be a big company without having a person of colour in a senior position, which explains why a lot of people have moved there. British business and industry is beginning to catch up… Brexit gives us an opportunity to tap into unused talent.”

[Speaking about her Christianity]: “Faith is a big part of my life – I pray every day… I was hit by a car when I was 14 and only got through it by prayer and meditation. It was the beginning of my relationship with God.”

“Christians are seen as weirdos in Britain – we have got to rebrand our faith and make sure we are more open and welcoming… there are so many people in this country who need Christianity.”

Alastair’s comments: June had a wonderfully gentle way of expressing herself. She described her struggle to break into broadcast journalism with no self-pity even though she had to overcome seemingly insuperable obstacles to break into what was then – and some would argue still is – an overwhelmingly male and pale industry. She also movingly described how she overcame her own doubts – and those of her family – about her career choice. She said those reservations were so strong she even had a name for them – “impostor syndrome”.

Breakout Sessions: Ministry of Comms Workshop with Vineyard Director of Communications Mark Crosby

Theme: There are thousands of people in our cities who are unaware that God has a better plan for them. We can make sure they are better informed by using the tools at our disposal more effectively to communicate with them.

Memorable quotes: “Prayerful planning prevents poor performance.”

“Every time you communicate, you are asking people to take one more step into an adventure of God’s making.”

“Millennials are seeking authenticity – someone who can articulate ‘this is who we are’.”

“Always try to use language so as to make quite clear what you mean – make sure your sentences could not mean anything else.”

[When using social media as a means of communication]: What is the message you are trying to convey? Who does it need to reach? Where can you find them? When is it best to say it?

“People forget data information but stories stay with us for a long time.”

Alastair’s comments: Mark is a master of his trade who obviously has a heart to reach out to the poor and dispossessed. In Jesus’ time we were encouraged to proclaim our message from the rooftops, but today we have to think how the same objective can be achieved through well-devised media strategies and social media.  

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Panel Discussion: What Does God Look Like On TV?

Theme: With the BBC announcing a “Year of Beliefs” in 2019 comprising specialist programming and documentaries about faith and religion, the panel discussed how this would affect the representation of faith in the mainstream media. Participants in the debate chaired by the Rev Kate Bottley included Songs of Praise Producer Mark Warburton, ‘More Tea Vicar? Author the Rev Bryony Taylor and BBC Project Director Mark Friend.

Memorable quotes: Mark Friend stressed that broadcasters must strive to appeal to a wider group of people when it comes to faith issues “a broader audience” was needed to be attracted by “new creativity”.

Bryony Taylor argued that it was good that faith issues were cropping up more in everyday TV – including numerous dramas that had featured vicars in various guises – because there was a level of public indifference and ignorance about Christianity.  She described wearing a dog collar in a supermarket queue and being asked by the checkout woman how long she had been a nun.

Mark Warburton said that some people watch Songs of Praise – which often has a bigger audience than the total number of people who go to church – on Sundays before they themselves going to church. “But I prefer people who do not go to church [to watch the programme] than those who do.” He said that social media and digital are playing a key role – if you can do social media well, you can experiment with new kinds of content.

Alastair’s comments: The three expert panelists were in a way all singing from the same hymn sheet. Faith broadcasting is a challenge in the 21st century and no one should be under any illusions as to how hard it is to retain and attract new audiences. The fate of the BBC’s Something Understood programme is testament to that.

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Panel Discussion: Future-proof

Theme: Our panel of experts explored what next year will bring for new technology in the media in a discussion chaired by Christians in Media’s James Poulter. Those on the stage were the Church of England’s digital supremo Adrian Harris, the Rev Liz Clutterbuck and the BBC’s head of Voice Mukul Dewichand.

Memorable quotes: Adrian Harris pointed out that the Church of England has now gone truly digital, and new technology was the bedrock of its evangelism, discipleship and common good campaigns.  He said a key objective now is to reach out to irregular church goers through new technology, pointing out that 40 percent of households in the UK next year will own a smart speaker. He said there now tremendous opportunities “to use digital [technology] to bring people into a relationship with God”.

Liz Clutterbuck said that a key decision recently was the decision by the Church of England to launch a Common Prayer daily worship app. She said this was so significant because it makes accessible something that previously “was only available in a lonely church”. Now anyone who wants to can have access to daily prayer, with the Alexa speaker even on hand to say The Lord’s Prayer or Grace ahead of meals.  But she cautioned that “Alexa cannot administer Holy Communion, because the sacraments cannot be downloaded to a device”.

Mukul Devichand said that the BBC was testing a number of different types of new technology, especially in relation to smart speakers and the kind of ways they can respond to the queries of children. He said that the future lies in algorithmic and personalised content. He said that we in the media are now entering an era where things are getting much more sophisticated. But we are still awaiting what he described as as “a killer app in voice” that will dominate the market.

Alastair’s comments: Adrian Harris could not have put it more eloquently. Christianity is never more relevant than it is today and if we are to proclaim our faith successfully we must use devices like Alexa and other forms of Artificial Intelligence to bring people into our community.

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Breakout Session: The basics of Filmmaking with Susie Atwood

Theme: In an hour Susie went through a beginners’ guide to taking better video – either with an iPhone or with a more sophisticated camera.

Memorable quotes: “Think about whether you’re going to film in landscape or portrait. Are you going to use a tripod? Remember that sound is almost as important as the video and not to leave too much headroom as you frame your picture. Simple is best.”

Alastair’s comments: It’s no easy task teaching people the basics of film-making in an hour – the BBC take several days to do it. But Suzie made an exceptional effort, skilfully reminding her audience that before they even start they must figure out what is the purpose of their film, who is it for, how long should it be, what is the desired outcome and best approach?  

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Panel Discussion: Glass Ceilings And Pay Gaps - What Changed And What Still Needs To Change For Women In Media?

Theme: An assessment into what challenges women in the media have faced and what obstacles still confront them in 2019. The panel was chaired by WTalk founder Tobi Olujinmi and comprised the Rev Sally Hitchiner, The Telegraph’s Lucy Denyer, Prof Tina Beattie and journalist Tobi Credein.  

Memorable quotes: Sally Hitchiner [Talking about the success of Love Island]: “We love to see beautiful people and deconstruct them to our own lives to see if it could fit. We are people scratchers… Celebrities sell products that have a longer shelf life than they do.”

Tobi Oredein pointed out that we live in a “Kardashian era” where traditional ideas of married people being loyal, romantic and intimate with another are fast becoming outdated. She called for positive discrimination to assist people of colour in the workplace.

Lucy Denyer – a mother of three - pointed out that a key reason for the gender pay gap related to women who lose out because of child bearing. But she said things were changing, and that in 10 years’ time young mothers would find the work place to be more accommodating than it is now.

Tina Beattie: “The gender and pay gap is unjust, but more unjust is the sight of obscenely rich and overpaid people on our streets and the huge economic injustices that exist in our society.”

Alastair’s comments: It was sobering for me as a middle aged, middle class white man to hear of the struggles these admirable women have overcome to get to where they are today. We men have not made it particularly easy for women of any background or class to work in the media, yet at no point did this formidably talented panel remind us that we should repent for past misdeeds.

Special Screening of The Wait By Susie Atwood

Theme: Susie’s documentary The Wait follows the lives of Syrian Christians who escaped oppression in their homeland to take refuge in Lebanon.

Alastair’s comments: Susie’s film superbly captures the tension among the refugees as they nervously wait to find out if their visa applications to seek a new life abroad have been accepted.

We loved seeing you at this year’s conference, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on our sessions in the comments below!

Are robot editors just "a matter of time"?

The recently appointed New Scientist Editor Emily Wilson recently said that while she was pleased to be the first woman to edit the publication, it’s “only a question of time” before a robot does the job.

So how long will be before machine-writing software really starts to take a hold in newsrooms?


What is exactly automated journalism? According to Matt Carlson, author of “The Robotic Reporter”,  it is the algorithmic process that converts data into narrative news texts with limited to no human intervention beyond the initial programming.

A recent article  on medium.com explained that the emergence of  big data and algorithmic technology means that it is now possible to convert data from reports into news stories.

Some news organisations are already doing this.  The Associated Press news agency has since 2014 used the services of Automated Insights for the production of certain kinds of data-driven stories.

The system uses a programme called Wordsmith to convert complicated data into a plain-language narrative.

Wordsmith transforms earnings data from Zacks Investment Research into a publishable AP story in a fraction of a second. In fact, the Wordsmith team specifically configured the natural language generation engine to write in AP style.

As a result, AP now produces 4,400 quarterly earnings stories – a 12-fold increase over its manual efforts.

The news agency insists that the stories “retain the same quality and accuracy that readers expect from any of AP’s human-written articles”.

Aside from an explanatory note at the bottom of the story, there is no evidence they were written by an algorithm.

After AP announced its “leap forward in quarterly earnings stories”, media outlets like The New York TimesSlate, and Mashable started writing about its innovative approach.

New York Magazine’s Roose called automated reporting “the best thing to happen to journalists in a long time”.

Automation has not so far displaced any reporters, but AP says it has freed up the equivalent of three full-time employees across the organisation.

As The Verge noted, “computers are not taking journalists’ jobs — not yet, at any rate. Instead, they’re freeing up writers to think more critically about the bigger picture”.

Likewise The LA Times now employs a robot that collects information on every homicide committed in the city of Los Angeles.

The “Homicide Report” uses a robot-reporter capable of including detailed data such as the victim’s gender and race, cause of death, officer involvement, neighbourhood and year of death.

Meanwhile The Guardian, The Washington Post and Forbes.com have also experimented with automated news generators provided by Narrative Science, a start-up headquartered in Chicago.

The company’s co-founder Kristian Hammond, once said that within 15 years more than 90% percent of news would be written by a computer. 

The Washington Post for its part reported last year that its own AI bot, known as Heliograf, published 850 stories entirely autonomously, primarily reporting on sports and the outcomes of regional political races.

Heliograf, the company's bot, first debuted at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It automatically put together stories by interpreting sports data and structuring it narratively based on patterns it learned from analyzing historical Washington Post articles.


“The use of the system allowed continuous reporting and accurate medal counts even for contests that were thinly covered by reporting staff,” Searchenterprise recently reported.

“Much of the content generated by AI and machine learning relates to information and news that is of public interest, but doesn't require a large number of paid human staff to cover,” the website reported.

“AI is being put to good use generating weather reports, financial industry summarizations, coverage of highly regional or local news and events, sporting event summaries, and other information that involves numerical information.

“AI systems can quantify that information and turn it into natural language text that's human readable.

“AI systems are also being used to generate breaking news content to bridge the gap until human reporters are able to get to the scene. Reuters, for example, is using AI to scour twitter feeds to find breaking news before it becomes headlines. In this way, valuable information is transmitted as soon as it's available.”

Not to be outdone, The New York Times is using an augmented intelligence approach leveraging an AI-based technology known as Editor that sits alongside journalists and identifies key phrases, headlines and text details.

The system can provide on-the-spot research, content suggestions, links, fact-checking, and supporting quotes or facts to help improve the overall quality of the piece.

“This helps to significantly reduce the research workload of reporters and enables them to turn out better quality content faster.” Searchenterprise said.

So see you all at the Church and Media conference – providing I’m not replaced by a computer.

Alastair Tancred, MediaNet editor

CAP to be featured in BBC2 debt documentary

There’s a particular sense of nervous excitement in the offices of Christians Against Poverty this week.


An hour-long documentary called The Debt Saviours is to be screened on BBC2 on Friday, October 5 at 9pm and while we’ve enjoyed national publicity many times before, this one’s very different.

Our bosses and our clients have frequently spoken about the effects of personal debt, council tax arrears, high cost credit, low income and the rest and we’re in constant contact with most of the personal finance journos.

Due to our face-to-face, long term help for people and lots of happy willing clients, we’ve become the go-to organisation for debt case studies.

However, the documentary doesn’t just introduce us to the people CAP helps (which it does brilliantly, by the way) it predictably questions our Christian motivation.


We are called Christians Against Poverty, and if anyone doubted, they will soon know we really are what it says on the tin. We pray, we sing – the works.

Well, truth to tell, we are deliberately distinct in the debt advice sector.

We work through a network of hundreds of churches and it means the extra-mile type of care comes as standard.

You’re struggling to afford hospital visits to your loved one because of your low income? The church can help.

You are without any income waiting for your universal credit payments? The church can help.

More often than not: You’re isolated, rarely leaving your home and suffering from acute loneliness and depression. The church can provide community and a reason to leave the house and find caring friends.

Here’s what the film maker didn’t include: hundreds of qualified debt counsellors negotiating with creditors and filling in the forms that will bring order to people’s finances, see people go debt free and keep their homes.

I guess that bit wasn’t too sexy… we get that.


Sadly, also cut: a wonderfully encouraging one-off visit to our Bradford head office from Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis and an award from the Archbishop of Canterbury for CAP Founder John Kirkby CBE.

In a beautiful bit of God’s timing, an independent report, calculating the wider benefits to society from CAP’s work, landed yesterday (Oct 2). The London School of Economics Housing and Communities (as well as the BBC) has also been scrutinising our work. The LSE interviewed more than 100 people, went through three year’s worth of records and describes CAP as “invaluable”.

Here’s a snippet of some of the gold therein:

  • People in need trust the church to help

  • A third of our debt coaches had previously worked in finance or healthcare

  • Their main motivation is to help the poorest

  • CAP’s benefit to wider society is almost £32m a year

We know there’s a huge team on the front line, in every community, caring for the most hurting and needy and it’s called The Church.

According to Ofcom, almost half the number of those working in TV describe themselves as ‘religious’ compared with the rest of the UK population. Naturally the benefits the church bring to society are, for them, a largely undiscovered truth.

So this is the story we have to keep telling despite the prejudices. We mustn’t become less salty or hide our light. The church is absolutely astonishing – it’s saving lives every day, bringing hope where there is none and – as you’ll see in the documentary – introducing people to the immeasurable and transforming love of God.

Marianne Clough National PR Manager at Christians Against Poverty.

Catch The Debt Saviours on BBC2 this Friday, October 5 at 9pm. Read about the behind the scenes info over on their blog.

Church & Media Conference: minority voices, diversity and June Sarpong


“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” These wise words from my favourite author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie show us the importance of diversity in providing a true and full picture of how things are.

As media professionals, who tell stories for a living – whether in print, online, through photography or film - it’s important for us to be intentional about drawing in the voices of those who are not like us.

The theme of Minority Voices will underpin the content for what’s set to be another excellent day. How do we ensure that those whose stories we tell represent the full spectrum of society – whether race, class, gender or physical ability?

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We, the conference planning team, are delighted to announce that June Sarpong MBE will join us for the day as our mainstage interviewee. As I was growing up as an ethnic minority in Britain, seeing Sarpong as one of the few black women presenting top TV shows was inspiring. She started her media career on Kiss 100 before becoming a presenter on MTV and then fronting Channel 4’s daytime TV strand T4, including interviewing Tony Blair in a special episode – When Tony met June – in 2005. Sarpong is a regular panellist on shows including Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Have I Got News for You, Loose Women, 8 Out of 10 Cats and Question Time. She is currently a panellist on Sky News programme The Pledge.

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Her latest book Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration argues the case for the social, moral and economic benefits of diversity while also looking at how limited we are by social division and inspiring us to make change.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu says of her book: “I am so glad June Sarpong is working on this matter of diversity. We don’t seem to know how to handle differences. When will we learn that we share one common humanity, as Shakespeare’s Shylock declared so eloquently?”

Sarpong joins a line-up for the Church & Media Conference, which includes Rev Kate Bottley, ITV newsreader Julie Etchingham, Mark Warburton, producer director at Songs of Praise, Professor Tina Beattie and comedian Paul Kerensa.

The conference, which takes place on Thursday, 18 October, at St Mary’s Bryanston Square in London, will also feature sessions on women in the media, pitching, and a live recording of podcast The Sacred, presented by Elizabeth Oldfield, director of Theos.

Written by Chine McDonald, Head of PR for Christian Aid, author, speaker and trustee of The MediaNet

If you haven't booked your ticket yet and would like a copy of June's book, we have added a special ticket which includes a discounted rate, and you can collect your copy from us at the conference!