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806 radio stations to be added in Phase III: Ambika Soni

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806 radio stations to be added in Phase III: Ambika Soni

The Government is firming up its FM Phase III policies. The latest phase of FM expansion would ensure the availability of 806 radio stations across 283 cities, as informed by Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni.

Soni also affirmed that the Government was committed to ensuring a level playing field for different segments of the media in order to promote a sustainable growth process and a robust industry. During the period of global recession, the print industry in India grew at a rate of 6.2 per cent. Support was provided to newspapers – small, medium and regional – through ads released by the Government. “This created an enabling environment within the industry, especially the regional press,” Soni added.

Soni further noted, “The growing number of newspaper readers within the country is also an indicator of the growth of the regional press in different forms and dialects. In the broadcast sector, 653 satellite channels have been granted permission till date.”

Speaking at a two-day international colloquium on ‘Freedom of Expression and Human Rights’ in Delhi on April 28, 2011, the I&B Minister stressed that media needed to avoid sensationalism or trivialisation of issues in the pursuit of commercial interests.

She noted that as the media platform functioned within the environment of instant communication, spontaneity of communication had broken the barriers of traditional communication and information dissemination moved forward through different outreach tools, thereby having a profound impact in the shortest possible time. “Media ought to act as an enabler, giving voice to the voiceless in order to ensure that every marginal group was heard, seen and involved in the mainstream by highlighting issues that protected and enhanced the dignity and self-esteem of such groups, hence empowering them,” she remarked.

The two-day colloquium will lay special emphasis on freedom of expression versus Rights of the Civil Society, reporting human rights excesses, promoting peace journalism and media as a defender of human rights. Media organisations from various countries like Australia, Austria, Turkey, Israel and Tanzania, besides Indian representatives, are participating in the deliberations. All details are being shared on the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s website.

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Indian media has capacity for self-correction: Ambika Soni


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