Will private FM soon be allowed to freely air news?

23 Feb,2012

By Robin Thomas


While it is known that private FM radio broadcasters will be permitted to air news and current affairs restricted to AIR (All India Radio), MxMIndia has learnt that all this could soon change with the setting up of a Central Monitoring System by the government.


Mr Uday Chawla, Secretary General, Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI) has confirmed the development to MxMIndia, “The Government will be setting up a Central Monitoring System for content, following which restriction of content including news will be removed.”


In fact, in an earlier interaction (interview) with MxMIndia, Ms Anurradha Prasad, President, AROI was of the same opinion that once a central monitoring system is set up there will be no restrictions to air news on private FM radio. When asked why the government is reluctant to allowing complete independence to private FM radio on news and current affairs, Ms Prasad stated, “The issue is of setting up a monitoring system so that radio content can be monitored by the government. Once this is ready, we don’t think the government will have any reason to limit news on FM radio.”


The monitoring system will allow the government to monitor content aired on radio and perhaps prevent any possible adverse effects of the content aired. It is however not known when the central monitoring system will be set up by the government. At present private FM stations are not allowed to air news and current affairs on air and only a year back in July 2011, the government had given its nod to the MIB proposal which allows private players to carry news bulletins of All India Radio.


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