Creating Connections – Birmingham Itinerary

Date: 23rd November 2021
Time: 2:00pm – 7:00pm
Venue: Assembly Room, The Exchange, 3 Centenary  Square, Birmingham B1 2DR
Tickets: Via Eventbrite here >>
Inquiries: [email protected] | 0203-970-0709


2.00pm Introduction:

– With our MC Roger Bolton – journalist, broadcaster and Religion Media Centre trustee
– Councillor John Cotton, Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities
2.10pm Presentation: The religious landscape of Birmingham

Canon Dr Andrew Smith, Director of Interfaith Relations for the Bishop of Birmingham, Honorary Fellow, Edward Cadbury Centre  
2.30pmMedia panel: Who are the local media, what stories are they interested in? Tips of the trade

Chaired by Roger Bolton, with guests:
Stuart Thomas, Head of Midlands BBC 
Christina Savvas, Senior Customer Editor (West Midlands) Birmingham Live Online, Reach PLC 
Fionnuala Bourke, editor of Birmingham World  
Gary Newby, news editor ITV Central
– Gurpreet Kaur Sandhu, CEO of The Sikh Channel 
– Dr Muhammad Hanif, trustee at Unity FM
3.30pmBreak and networking
3.40pmPanel: What are the great stories about religion in the Birmingham area? 

– Kamran Shezad,  Executive – Climate Change and Sustainability Lead, Bahu Trust  
– Bishop Mike Royal, co-chief executive of the Cinnamon Network, new General Secretary of the British Council of Churches; and co-chair of the Commonwealth Games 2022 Churches Together Working Group 
– Liisa Wiseman, Project Manager for Adavu, a charity working with victims of human trafficking
– Maria Carter, Communications Office, Salvation Army
– Nilesh Solanki, volunteer at Sewa UK
Workshop clinics where faith representatives try out their story on journalists to gauge their interest
5.10pmBreak and networking
5.20pmPanel discussion: Religion, Youth & Social Media

Where do young people get their religion from on social media, who do they trust and what other content do they want to see?
6.00pmWrap up plenary:

What light has the discussion shed on the relationship between religion and the media in Birmingham? With guests including:

– Professor Jagbir Jhutta-Johal, University of Birmingham 
Dr Anna Lockley Scott, Education and Learning Consultant at The Faith & Belief Forum
Gary Newby, news editor ITV Central
6:30pm Networking
7:00pmThanks and close


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