NEW DELHI :
Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar has said that he is keen to raise air time for advertisements on community radio to 12 minutes from seven to bring it on a par with television channels. Javadekar who was addressing listeners of all community radio stations by way of a simultaneous broadcast added that there is no need for them to seek funds and that they can simply relay local advertisements more.
While 75% of the expenditure of setting-up of community radio stations is borne by the ministry, expenses for daily operations are borne by the individual station.
Calling community radio ‘a community in itself’ and terming the stations ‘agents of change’, Javadekar said that they reach out to millions of people every day, and that the ministry will come out with a plan to increase their number soon.
Javadekar also discussed the key demand of community radio to be able to broadcast news on its channels and assured that he will consider allowing the same, the way it is done on FM channels. He encouraged such stations to play a key role in combating the fake news menace by taking note of specific stories in circulation and verifying them through local sources to act on them.
He also invited stations to share the same with state broadcaster All India Radio, so that the reach of genuine and authentic news can be amplified. Javadekar added that the ministry has created a Fact Check Cell under PIB (Press Information Bureau) and the community radio segment can complement it in its role.