NEW DELHI: In a bid to keep watch on the contents of private FM and community radio channels in cities across the country, the Centre has asked states and Union Territories to monitor their content through the monitoring committees. These committees were set up to keep a watch on television broadcast.
Officials said that monitoring committees have already been set up in 19 states, five UTs and 327 districts for monitoring the content telecast on private satellite channels.
A letter from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to the states said, “It has been decided that these committees be henceforth authorised to monitor the content broadcast on private FM, community radio stations in addition to private satellite TV channels.”
The MIB has also requested the remaining states that have not set up the committees to do the same. A senior official of the MIB said that FM channels and community radio stations are required to follow the All India Radio Broadcast Code, which bars criticism of friendly countries, attack on religions and communities and anything obscene and defamatory etc.
While pronouncing the judgement in a case, the Supreme Court had in January advised the government to formalise the existing complaint redressal mechanism for content monitoring of private satellite TV channels and to finalise a similar framework for private radio stations as well. Officials said that any violations would be acted upon by the authorised officers or brought to the notice of the ministry for taking necessary action.