Creating Connections

Our Creating Connections events raise understanding between religious groups and the media, exploring new stories, breaking down misunderstanding, and showcasing the expertise of RE teachers and academics.

What's On

RMC Creating Connections 2023 Website Post - Bristol
Join us on Wednesday 22 November for our 'Creating Connections' event in Bristol
RMC Creating Connections 2023 Website Post - Norwich
Join us on Thursday 30 November for our 'Creating Connections' event in Norwich

In the autumn of 2023, the Religion Media Centre put on “Creating Connections” events in six cities, bringing together local faith groups, the media, RE teachers, academics and civic leaders, in order to improve communications and facilitate conversations about religion in the public square. 

About 365 people attended the events in Bradford, Coventry, Newcastle, Liverpool, Bristol and Norwich. They were organised by the RMC with local steering groups of journalists, religious organisations, academics, teachers and council representatives. This was our second series of Creating Connections, following on from events in five cities in 2021.  

Our ambition remained to break down misunderstanding and build trust between local faith groups and the media, to showcase the expertise of RE teachers and academics and to provide an opportunity for local councillors to plug into the wealth of knowledge and insight in the room. Through better communication between all groups, we hoped to make a difference towards social cohesion and local democracy. 

This proved a difficult period to choose for the project. Only a week after our first event, war broke out in the Middle East, which brought heightened tension between communities and we were grateful to those who attended our events and continued a dialogue which some said was needed more than ever.  

It was also the time when planned cuts to BBC local radio came in, so presenters and editors found they had to answer questions on how local radio could adequately cover religion when so many of their programmes had made way for regional versions. Also during this time, Reach PLC announced job cuts.  

We were grateful to have the support of Reach PLC, Newsquest, the BBC, ITV, and other local media titles at each of our events.

One of the key takeaways this time was how local faith groups can continue to communicate their stories to others outside their group, when the structure of local journalism has been diminished. And one solution identified was to ramp up the websites of local organisations, and their social media presence, to tell their own stories for the benefit of the wider public.   

So in the tailwind of Creating Connections 2023, we are ramping up our own training offer on social media skills and basic journalism – watch this website for more information. And we continue to support local journalists who are valiantly trying to get the stories to keep the public informed. 

We’re now making plans to take our Creating Connections event series even further in 2025.

Find out more from our write-up and video of our past Creating Connections events: 

Five cities compilation
Local journalists discovered a wealth of stories from people at the intersection of religion and public life in this innovative project

Previous Creating Connections


1 December 2023

Norwich is second only to Brighton and Hove as the country’s least religious city, but its numerous faith groups are woven into public life and journalists want to hear their stories
2023-11-22-RMC-Creating-Connections-Bristol-16 edit

29 November 2023

The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, says journalists and newsrooms must do more to reflect the nature and concerns of diverse communities.
twitter compilation pic

17 November 2023

Creating connections in Liverpool where the engagement of faith groups is seen as crucial to the social and economic fortunes of the city

29 October 2023

Creating connections in Newcastle, where faith is alive and kicking and where editors want to hear those stories.

10 October 2023

Creating connections in Coventry, a city of peace and reconciliation with enormous interfaith opportunity

22 September 2023

Bradford is an "intercultural city" with a complex weave of culture, ethnicity and faith, which journalists have to understand to report the city well

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