Private FM players permitted to broadcast news in AIR format: Javadekar

In the Question Hour held in the Lok Sabha on 16th July 2014, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that private FM channels private FM channels will be allowed to broadcast news, but only from bulletins of All India Radio. However, the policy can be relaxed in future he informed.

Javadekar said that private FM channels have so far not been permitted to broadcast news under the existing FM radio policy guidelines. He also said that under the guidelines approved for FM radio Phase- III, FM channels will be permitted to carry AIR news bulletins in exactly the same format.  To a supplementary, he said presenters of private FM channels will be allowed to read AIR news.

The minister stated that broadcast relating to sporting events, excluding live coverage, live commentaries of sporting events of local nature, information on traffic, weather, announcement on civic amenities, natural calamities will be treated as non-news items "and will, therefore, be permissible."

He said once news broadcast has been opened up, government can think of further "relaxation" based on the experience it gains on the issue.

Responding to queries about expansion of FM channels to more cities, Javadekar informed that the number of cities with FM channels will increase by March 30, 2015 when the Phase-III is rolled out.  He said discussions have also taken place to convert certain MW channels to FM channels as the coverage under Medium Wave is proper in some areas.

While FM channels can broadcast news, sourcing from All India Radio, the Minister said they can have an option of sourcing it from PTI as well.


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