Producing For an International Audience

Pilar Adams - BBC
Jake Macfarlane's picture Jake Macfarlane 2 years 7 months ago

I decided to explore BBC's World Service English Radio station. It is BBC's mission to

enrich people's lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain. This

global source for content appealed to me because of the variety of content it offers and the

creativity of this content. The two pieces I decided to analyze were "The Pastor of the House for

all Sinners and Saints" and Winnie Harlow's; "Vitligo Doesn't Define Me".

"The Pastor of the House for all Sinners and Saints"

( is a radio broadcast that covers an interview

with the founding pastor, Nadia Bolz-Weber, of the non-conventional church; House for all

Sinners and Saints. This woman was never set out to be a pastor but the way she ended up in

this position is both unique and inspiring. Nadia had a harsh upbringing and her calling to be a

pastor hit her when PJ, her close friend who was on the road to recovery with her, committed

suicide. She was the only one with some sort of faith in her background, this resulted in her

friends turning towards her for leading PJ's funeral service. After this experience Nadia had a

revelation; "these are my people and they don't have a pastor". Nadia has created a non-
traditional church where people don't have to leave their personalities at the door, all they

have to be is themselves; a safe space to worship Jesus Christ. Her congregation consisted of

around forty people but this quickly changed after she guest preached at a larger Easter service

consisting of over ten thousand people. The number of people in the congregation wasn't the

only thing that changed as the demographic of newbies who attended did. The report in the

paper after her Easter service attracted older, more conservative church goers who did not fit in

with Nadia's typical crowd. For her this was an ironic moment in time where the congregation

struggled to welcome these individuals who would be classified as society's "insiders". She was

horrified as normal people were messing with her church. Panicked, she reached out to her

friend who also preaches at a similar style church, who with no hesitation said their

congregation was welcoming- not what she was seeking to hear! A transgender boy spoke out

in their congregation meeting about the changing demographic, how he enjoyed seeing people

who looked like his parents there because those people could accept and love him in a way that

his parents can not. The broadcast concluded with Nadia sharing how she has and continues to

create an inside for all, rather than this universal; us versus them mentality.

I decided to choose this broadcast because this unconventional worship environment

appealed to me, as being someone who was raised in a traditional Christian home. I believe this

article is intended for an international audience as religion is a very universal practice, with

Christianity being the world's largest religion. This makes the content relatable for Christians of

all kinds out there, as well as all other religious believers, who could be interested in Nadia's

unique calling to God.

"Vitiligo doesn't define me"

( is a

broadcast featuring Winnie Harlow. She expresses how her skin condition does not define who

she is as an individual. Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes the loss of skin colour in blotches.

People have approached and verbalized to Winnie that she is brave for being who she is

regardless of how she looks. Winnie states how she doesn't appreciate when people applaud

her "bravery" for being herself as vitiligo is just one part of her physical appearance. Her family

has never treated her differently, it was only when she started going to school, she was told

that she was different. She expresses the pressure of being a superhero for kids with a skin

condition and how she doesn't believe that it's her job just because of her circumstances. This

current "public figure" has embraced who she is; a confident young woman comfortable in her

own skin, who doesn't have to prove herself to anyone.


I was especially interested in this article because I have actually seen Winnie Harlow

downtown Toronto. The fact this feature was broadcasted by UK's BBC just goes to show how

universal it truly is. I could see this article appealing to a wide audience as many individuals

struggle with skin disorders and this is an empowering perspective to familiar yourself with. I

think Canadians especially, would be interested in this broadcast because Winnie was born and

raised in Toronto, Ontario. The fact that her story has gone global gives Canadians a sense of

pride to be associated with such an inspiring female who is determined to be herself, regardless

of how she looks. Today's society is so judgmental and focused on the exterior that this

broadcast is refreshing to comprehend.


From exploring BBC's World Service English Radio stations webpage, it is a platform I

would definitely revisit. There is a lot of variety jam packed within the broadcasts from latest

news, to amazing stories, and popular programmes. I could definitely see how it appeals to a

global audience and how it would also be specifically appealing towards Canadians.