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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 March 2007, 15:18 GMT
Bishop wants reporter's release
The Right Reverend Jonathan Gledhill
The bishop also spoke of a general lowering of media standards
The Bishop of Lichfield has called for the release of BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, who is believed to have been abducted in Gaza.

The Right Reverend Jonathan Gledhill appealed to churchgoers to pray for Mr Johnston, who disappeared on 12 March, at a meeting in Muxton, Shropshire.

Bishop Gledhill said people are so grateful for brave journalists like the 44-year-old.

The BBC has said it is increasingly concerned about his safety.

Media standards

Bishop Gledhill said such journalists "risk their lives daily so that the truth may be broadcast".

He said: "The BBC is the only Western television network in Gaza.

"I ask for those who are holding him to see the damage they are doing to world peace and to their cause and to release him."

His comments came in a speech in which he balanced support for the media and the news media in particular as a "critical friend" with a critique of the general lowering of media standards.

He said: "Journalists, like historians or scientists or preachers, have to select their material and then present it in a way that supports their hypothesis."

The bishop made his Presidential Address to the Lichfield Diocesan Synod meeting on Saturday.

His diocese covers Staffordshire and areas of Shropshire and the Black Country.

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