Regulators

Govt reiterates inability to permit private radio news

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NEW DELHI: Reiterating its long-held stand that it was difficult to monitor news bulletins on FM and community radio channels, the Centre has expressed that permitting privately produced news bulletins could endanger "national security and public order".

The Government has already announced that Community Radio Stations and private FM in Phase III can air bulletins of All-India Radio without any payment.

The government in an affidavit in the Supreme Court said it could not permit news content on FM as it might be misused by anti-national elements in the country and outside to propagate their agenda and radical views, posing a grave danger to the country.

Answering the Court’s query in this regard, the Government said there was no mechanism in place to monitor content of live broadcast of all radio stations and law and order problems may arise if they transmit sensitive news.

It also said several community radio stations were run by NGOs and could be used as platforms to manipulate the minds of local people.

"Broadcasting of news by these stations/channels may pose a possible security risk as there is no mechanism to monitor the contents of news bulletin of every such station. As these stations and channels are run mainly by NGO or other small organisation and private operators, several anti-national or radical elements within the country can misuse it for propagating their own agenda," it said.

The government added that some radio stations also air programmes involving chats with NRIs and these may be exploited too.

Also Read:  'Risk' in FM stations airing news, apprehends Prasar head

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