| 18 Jul 2024
FM channels to get AIR news soon, centre mulling privately produced news bulletins: Javadekar

NEW DELHI: Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the auctions for FM Phase III would commence soon. He further added that the process of broadcast of All India Radio news bulletins on private FM Channels would also begin shortly.

Speaking to media personnel on the sidelines of Goafest, where he had given the keynote address, Javadekar said, "I am meeting all FM (frequency modulation) channels. And there is just one demand that phase three should be auctioned at the earliest. It will happen shortly.”

The previous United Progress Alliance Government had announced the auction of 839 FM radio channels in the third phase and an empowered group of ministers had given its clearance to the auction last year. Javadekar said the guidelines in this connection would be issued shortly.

Phase three will pave the way for carriage of news bulletins (only of All India Radio), which operators have said is critical for content diversification.

The Minister said the Centre is considering permitting privately-owned FM radio channels to start their own news broadcast. "Why should FM channels be banned from broadcasting news? The Centre is considering allowing privately-owned FM radio channels to start their own news broadcast."

Javadekar pointed out the key priorities. The first was the social media engagement plan, which is currently underway. He is urging all ministries to use the social media hub which has already been set up in the ministry. Making Prasar Bharti and All India Radio competitive and best-in-class is also a top priority. He also mentioned cross media ownership and television ratings-related issues that needed to be solved.