On Tuesday, January 8, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore announced a new plan to share news between All India Radio and private FM channels — first sought by private FM channels in 1936. Till now only the national broadcaster of the country, AIR, had the right to broadcast news on radio.
Rathore, in the presence of top officials of Akashvani and Prasar Bharati, announced in an event organized at the National Media Center in Delhi that Akashvani will now share its news content with private FM channels. Under this, All India Radio’s news services department will allow private FM channels to present their English and Hindi news bulletins “without tampering” and “with certain terms and conditions”. This decision will now run as a trial under which private FM channels have been empowered to broadcast news content of All India Radio free of charge till May 31, 2019. After this once again, it will be considered to carry it forward.
Impact Of The Policy
Since independence, private FM channels have not been allowed to present their own news, even the news bulletins of All India Radio. This was a policy implemented by various governments. With unlimited access to radio, such a monopoly ensures government control over the dissemination of radio news.
The point to note is that even though the government may have given permission to share the news, private FM channels still cannot present their own prepared news. According to this announcement, they have only been allowed to replug the news bulletin of All India Radio. Also, private FM channels have to keep in mind that every bulletin is broadcast within 30 minutes of airing on AIR.
Re-broadcasting news content of Prasar Bharati on private FM channels is being seen as a new type of problem. The media and experts associated with its study are of the opinion that the national broadcaster is seen as a supporter of the government, it is just a means of propagating the policies of the government. Some people even say that since independence, AIR has been the mouthpiece of the ruling government. While private news institutions can also review and criticize government policies.
Another important point is the timeframe to implement this system. Is this a tactical and clever move in the Modi government’s election year under which it wants to convey its message through private FM channels to the voters who listen to FM Challan? Its deadline has been set till May 31, 2019. This date itself is important. At the end of May, a new government would have been formed in the country. Apparently, during this time, the same policies of the Modi government will reach the listeners of FM channels, which till now only reached the listeners of All India Radio.
Rajyavardhan Rathore said, “This (partnership) will empower every citizen. After all, the most important thing is that citizens should be fully aware and informed in the democratic system. ”He said that both sides had been demanding to broadcast AIR news on private FM channels. This ultimately resulted in the foresight and perseverance of Akashvani and Prasar Bharati.
The minister said, “The first priority of Prasar Bharati is to create awareness. Revenue is the second priority. For now, we are providing it free of cost so that there is no delay and the citizens of the country can be reached through news. “Rathore also said that this partnership was called” my team vs. your team ” And the coming together of private FM channels and All India Radio is “very important for our democratic system of tomorrow”.
After saying and hearing everything, the terms and conditions of this partnership raise some questions. First of all, private FM channels will be able to share news of AIR on free and trial basis only till May 31. Till the date when the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and related activities will end. Is this date intentionally selected?
Terms and Conditions
Apart from this, there are some terms and conditions for sharing news. During the trial period, private FM broadcasters may “avoid broadcasting news in disturbed / border and naxal areas.” Apart from this, private FM channels wishing to broadcast news bulletins of All India Radio must first register themselves on the website of All India Radio’s news services department. News bulletins of All India Radio will have to be broadcast “without tampering” and even advertisements during the news bulletins must be broadcast as they are.
Private FM broadcasters will have to give due credit to All India Radio for sourcing their news and its news bulletins must either be broadcast live with All India Radio or broadcast within 30 minutes.
All India Radio reported, “In case of delayed live, it has to be told in advance that it is delayed live.” “AIR news can be broadcast by any FM radio channel only after accepting the terms and conditions.”
Private FM channels will also have to submit a monthly report by the fifth of every month, detailing the total number of broadcasts of a particular news bulletin. If any of these terms and conditions are violated, “appropriate action will be taken.”
Anura, President of Association of Radio Operators of India