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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January, 2005, 12:26 GMT
Should Newsround have Islam Week?
By Ian Prince
Editor, Newsround

Why is Newsround staging an Islam Week? Does it show a lack of balance, as some viewers have suggested? Newsround's editor explains the reasons behind his decision.

TV screen grab
Will Christian and Sikh week be next, some viewers have asked?

Newsround often looks at topics in greater detail if they have been making a lot of headlines in the papers and TV.

The reason why our latest subject is Islam is because it is a religion which has been in the news spotlight in recent years, ever since the attacks on America on 11 September 2001.

It is also the fastest growing religion in the UK and Muslims now form the largest religious minority group in the UK.

Whenever we have covered Islamic issues they have always generated a big response from our audience, many of whom have expressed a desire to know more.

Many Muslim children feel the community has been portrayed in a negative way in the media.

Islam Week on Newsround is backed up by articles on its website
Newsround would feature programmes on another religion, if that religion had been reported on a lot in the news

During the week we are trying to look at different aspects of Islam, such as:

  • What young British Muslims think about they way they are treated

  • Hearing the views of British Muslim girls who have been criticised for wearing headscarves

  • Taking a Lancashire-born Muslim boy to explore his cultural roots in Pakistan

  • Hearing what kids in general think of the religion

This year, Newsround is also planning an Africa week and a China week.

In each case they are areas which are having an increasing influence on our lives in Britain, and are also fascinating places to find out more about.

Whether it is Islam week, Africa week, or China week, in each case they are topics which are newsworthy, and also increasingly important to understand if we are all to understand the world around us.

Newsround would also feature programmes on another religion, if that religion had been reported on a lot in the news over a long period of time.

Ian Prince will be appearing on the NewsWatch programme, broadcast at 2045 GMT on Friday 28 January and at 0745 GMT on Saturday 29 January.


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