Television

Notification issued that DD News be put in prime band

NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati is going ahead with its news channel in great gusto and would see that government orders make it mandatory for cable operators to carry it on the prime band.

As per a Gazette Notification, dated 24 October, 2003, it is mandatory for the cable operators to carry DD News as a "must carry channel on the prime non-terrestrial channels of their networks in addition to DD-1 and DD (Regional) / DD-Bharati."

In view of the latest notification, all the cable operators have to carry on the prime non terrestrial channel of their cable networks DD-1 (National Channel), DD (News Channel), and one regional language channel of the State/ Union Territory in which the cable operator is located according to the schedule of the Gazette Notification dated 13.9.2001. Alternatively DD-Bharati as per the Gazette Notification dated 4.2.2002.

This notification will come into force with effect from 3 November, 2003.

Meanwhile, a formal communication from the Election Commission to the information and broadcasting ministry as also Prasar Bharati CEO KS Sarma, even while giving the green signal to the relaunch of the news channel, states, "The Commission expects that Prasar Bharati will ensure neutrality, objectivity and fairness of the public broadcasting/telecasting during this sensitive (election period between November and December) period."

The letter further adds: "The Commission is also satified by the assurance given that the inauguration of the channel will not be done through any political person in view of the prevailing model code of conduct."

The Commission in its letter has also mentioned that it was "concerned about the possibilities of the news and related programmes of the state-owned media being misused." Sarma yesterday assured the Commission that the model code of conduct at election time "will be followed in letter and spirit by DD."

Five states of India, including the Uniion Territory of Delhi, go to polls between November and December.

PETITION CHALLENGING LAUNCH OF DD NEWS DISMISSED

The Delhi High Court today dismissed a petition filed by private producers on the soon-to-be-snuffed out DD Metro entertainment channel challenging the launch of DD News. The launch of DD News on 3 November will coincide with the demise of DD Metro.

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