I&B not averse to news on private FM radio

New Delhi, Nov 16 | Updated: Nov 17 2005, 05:30am hrs
The ministry of information and broadcasting is open to examining the possibility of allowing news on private FM radio stations.

Addressing the economic editors conference on Wednesday, I&B minister S Jaipal Reddy said, Views on cross-media restrictions are not very clear at the moment, hence we have not allowed news and current affairs on private FM radio. But in future, we can look into the matter. Outlining the major decisions taken by the ministry, Mr Reddy said, allowing fax editions of foreign newspapers, issues of downlinking and uplinking guidelines, DTH expansions and setting up of a new wage board for newspaper employees, were some of the highlights.

On not allowing local advertising on foreign news channels, the minister said, If foreign news channels are using specialised beams for India, then showing local ads is ok. Else, we are clear that no local ads will be allowed on foreign channels beaming into India.

On the issue of conditional access system, he said that the government was in talks with state governments and it was talking time. However, he noted that new delivery platforms like DTH and broadband are proving to be good alternatives to the consumers. Doordarshans DTH platform, DD direct, which is currently offering 33 channels, will show over 100 channels in a years time. It is very popular in remote areas of India where terrestrial transmission of DD is not possible, Mr Reddy noted.