Media, Online Activities and Social Media
An enormous range of events were advertised on the internet and through social media, and numerous articles and blogs were written about the Week. Some also ran social media campaigns, online activities, radio shows or made films.
The impact of events held for Inter Faith Week is significantly increased by media coverage. Hearing about and seeing images from events encourages people to take part and also to plan events for the coming year. It also prompts some people to consider getting involved for the first time in inter faith activity.
Inter Faith Week 2016 was the most active Week to date online and on social media (as well as in terms of number of activities held) It reached over 5.9 million people on social media, recording around 19.7 million impressions.
IFN itself promoted the Week and the events held for it through its website gathering in details of these across preceding weeks and adding them to a UK-wide interactive map and calendar.
An enormous range of events were advertised on the internet and through social media, and numerous articles and blogs were written about the Week. During the Week itself, people also took to radio to promote events or to share Inter Faith Week’s aims and goals.
Activity online and in the media included social media campaigns, radio shows, articles, online articles, blogs and film productions among other things. These were contributed by national and local newspapers, faith communities and the faith press, local and national inter faith groups, schools, higher and further education institutions, public figures and others, and helped the message of Inter Faith Week to spread right around the UK.
Some ways that people marked Inter Faith Week in the media, online and on social media included:
- An online blog series for the Jewish News throughout Inter Faith Week. This series gave inter faith practitioners, academics, community leaders and others the chance to share their experiences of the Week, and what it means to them and their communities. This blog series included a contribution from Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Faith and Integration at the Department for Communities and Local Government.
- A Huffington Post blog on Inter Faith Week by the founder and director of the Woolf Institute, Dr Ed Kessler, as well as a piece about the Week in the International Business Times UK.
- Articles about the Week in an array of local newspapers, including the Sunderland Echo, the York Press, the Bournemouth Echo, the East London & West Essex Guardian, the Milton Keynes Citizen, the Warrington Guardian, Kent Online, the Bolton News, the Yorkshire Post and the Westmoreland Gazette among others.
- A short film produced by the London Boroughs Faiths Network as part of Mayor Sadiq Khan’s #LondonIsOpen Campaign. The film shared the message that London is open to cultural and religious difference and was filmed at places of worship across the city. Inter Faith Week participants were invited to show that film and share it on social media during the Week. The film can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bExx8ZzfAnw.
- A programme of free online learning run by the Open University. The Free Learning team and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences posted links throughout the Week on social media to learning resources about religion and belief. Resources included 360° video tours of some of London’s religious buildings, animations, articles and free online courses. Go to www.open.edu/openlearn/whats-on/events/inter-faith-week-2016 to find out more.
- Five special Inter Faith Week shows broadcast on Loughton Youth Radio. Each show focused on a different local faith community, and featured special guests as well as contributions from listeners.
- A special Premier Christian Radio show on inter faith relations during Anna Cookson’s Saturday Big Breakfast. The show featured special guests and questions from listeners.
- A blog series from the Progressive Christianity Network. Throughout Inter Faith Week, the Network asked three of its members to write about their experiences of inter faith relations.
- An Inter Faith Week video produced by staff and patients at Saint Francis’ Hospice, Romford. The video expressed the charity’s openness to those of different faiths and beliefs, and how this is reflected in the care they provide. The film can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfDXO_hTFSU.
- An appearance by pupils from Challney Boys School, Luton on InspireFM Luton to discuss Inter Faith Week at school and in the community.
- A special programme on Leeds’ Fever FM led by the Leeds Jewish Representative Council’s Director of Interfaith to promote Inter Faith Week and Mitzvah Day.
- Blogs by Inter Faith Network for the UK staff members about the events that they attended on behalf of IFN, which can be found at https://www.interfaithweek.org/resources/blogs.
The theme of Scottish Interfaith Week in 2016 was ‘religion and the media’, and many events in Scotland picked up this topic. Further information can be found at http://www.interfaithscotland.org/scottish-interfaith-week/.
Published 18 January 2017