Broadcasters love an anniversary. And as the Trust’s Chair, Dr Tony Stoller, noted in his welcome for this year’s awards ceremony, there has been no shortage of anniversaries of late. Over the last twelve months the BBC has marked its 100th anniversary; Channel 4 celebrated its 40th; and for the Sandford St Martin Trust, 2023 is our 45th year in the business. While it would be tempting to get nostalgic, this year’s finalists and winners make the point that – when it comes to religious and ethical broadcasting – content is more vibrant than it ever was. Chosen from the most diverse range of entrants in terms of broadcast platforms and broadcast media yet, what’s clear is how the themes of religion, faith and belief have inspired content-makers working in very different genres and focussed on very different audiences. From the micro to the macro, this year’s entries have explored how faith affects us personally and politically, how what people believe builds communities, and how religion – whether organised and not – impacts on society and ideas of social justice.
To quote Tony again: “The Awards embody the zeitgeist of the past year, reflecting the concerns and mood of content-makers and audiences. They address the religious and ethical dimensions implicit in war and conflict, identity, representation and the legacy of historical injustice… but also hope, celebration and a sense of belonging”. In short: perfect for an anniversary.
You can read more about this year’s winners and runners-up below.