The Six Myths of Christian Television

My friend and client, Mal Fletcher has been producing television programming with a Christian message for many years and has identified six myths people are willing to believe about Christian television production. I was thinking we would see production values skyrocket is more Christian producers understood the danger of believe these myths. To read all of Mal’s article, just go to his web site at

MYTH #1: Media represent another form of pulpit. In fact, most media today represent more a forum style of communication. The irony of using mass media is that they allow us to hold a seemingly personal dialogue with a many individuals, all at the same time.

MYTH #2: When we appear in people’s homes via the electronic media we are on our turf. In fact, we are in the territory of the audience and people are inviting us into their lives. There is no place for arrogance or a ‘you’d better listen to what I’m telling you’ approach.

MYTH #3: Everybody in the audience will experience the medium or the message in the same way. Actually, people respond differently to what they see and hear according to their age, economic situation, ethnic background and education. That’s why media groups spend so much money on the study of demographics.

MYTH #4: You don’t need to change your style of presentation for the media. Large gestures and high volumes are well suited to a large stage and a packed auditorium. Yet they can seem downright distracting, annoying and even threatening when confined to the small screen of a TV in someone’s living room.

MYTH #5: Media time is the same as real time. Most people will listen to a presentation in a public place, even if they are not enjoying it. They do this out of a sense of courtesy and a desire not to draw attention to themselves. In the privacy of their own homes, though, they will gladly either argue with you or, more likely, switch off if they see no benefit in what they’re seeing or hearing.

MYTH #6: Most people go to media for moral and spiritual instruction. Of course, most people go to electronic media for entertainment. As a result, electronic media, like movies, have pushed the dynamic more in the direction of narrative rather than discourse. Visual metaphors have taken over from speeches, and in media people learn more by ‘osmosis’, by interacting with a story, than by instruction.

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