The information and broadcasting ministry has once again put the brakes on news and current affairs content on privately owned and operated Frequency Modulation (FM) channels in the country. The I&B ministry has said FM stations cannot air such content even in “snippet form” as it violates clause 1.4 and 23.4 of Grant of Permission Agreement signed by private operators.
Questions: Is it a good idea to prevent FM channels from airing news and current affairs? What purpose does the ban serve? Is the ban directed at preventing “immature” and “irresponsible” content from being broadcast? Or is it to prevent ordinary citizens, who can afford inexpensive FM radios, from hearing unfiltered news, as-is? When a news consumer is being bombarded with news from a variety of sources does it makes sense to keep the ban on?