Spirituality Meets the News: CBC, Vision Put Religion in Prime Time

Article excerpt

DIANE PAQUETTE

STAFF WRITER

Some people think if Jesus were alive today, he would want to be on television.

A new program on CBC Newsworld and Vision TV would definitely want Him as a guest, should he be available for an appearance.

On Jan. 17, Newsworld and Vision teamed up to launch Moral Divide, a show that reflects the growing role of spirituality, religion and moral issues in our society.

Hosted by Anne Petrie from the Newsworld studio in Calgary, the show will air on CBC twice on Sundays and on Wednesday evenings on Vision.

Ms. Petrie, a 10-year veteran of Newsworld who already hosts two other programs, said she's looking forward to hosting a show that deals with the thorny issues of religion and spirituality because "I think anybody with a brain is interested in this kind of stuff," she said in an interview.

"It's virtually unheard of for two networks to get together to do a show," she said, but she's pleased because "Vision does such good work."

The show will explore "new ways to talk about things. People are already doing that in their ordinary lives and we in the media haven't caught on to that," she said.

The goal is to go beyond the political and financial analysis of news events that we're already getting ad nauseam from the media and to probe moral questions and the religious or spiritual overtones of news events and issues.

Ms. Petrie said she's "really looking forward" to hosting the show because when it comes to religion and spirituality, the "mainstream media have missed the boat."

She's also feeling anxious about the challenge because "I think there's a lot of interest in something like this but because people have very strong opinions, everyone has an idea of how you should do a show about religion and spirituality. …