Draft broadcast policy passed

Staff Correspondent | Update:

cabinet meetingThe Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of the National Broadcast Policy 2014 with provisions to ban television and radio news or programmes that discredit law enforcing agencies and persons.

According to the draft, the government will form an independent commission that will monitor TV and radio news and programmes, said Cabinet Secretary M Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan following the cabinet meeting in the secretariat.

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The cabinet secretary said, delivering misleading information in TV talk-shows has been made punishable.

He said the commission will also have the authority to issue licences for televisions and radios.

The information ministry will carry out the duties to implement the broadcast policy until the commission will be formed, added the secretary. 

The policy has some controversial provisions that may choke freedom of expression in TV and radio programmes.

News, photographs, videos and any programme that demean or dishonour armed forces, law enforcement agencies or persons will not be allowed to be broadcast according to the law.

News items on rebellion, anarchy and violent activities that violet public interests must not be broadcast.

No news or programmes that may harm interests of any nation or community, destructive for country's dignity or history or favours foreign interests will be broadcast.

Cabinet Secretary M Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan also said the draft was drawn up after consulting stakeholders, including journalists. 

Related stories: 

Govt out to gag mass media: BNP 

Broadcast policy replete with restrictions

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