In Bangladesh, community radio stations get theirlicense under the 'Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation Policy of 2008'(which was published in Bangladesh Gazette of 12 March 2008 and which has been approved by the Ministry of Information on 22 April 2010). The Government of Bangladesh is actively supporting media diversity & community mobilization through its community radio policy. The policy was updated in 2017 (and published in 2018). Main features of this new policy are:
1. Community radio is regarded as 'voice of voiceless'
2. It should be operated by nonprofit organizations
3. Broadcasting will be done by local community participation.
4. Underprivileged communities will receive preferences in establishing a new station.
5. Main programmes will broadcast shows of direct relevance to the local community, including oneducation, agriculture, social welfare, women's empowerment, environment, weather, climate change, disaster management, cultural development, anti-terrorism and anti-addiction campaigns.
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?
Since 2010, 17 community radio stations are actively functioningin Bangladesh. In last two years, another 18 have been shortlisted and, among them, one has also started broadcasting. Furthermore, the new policy has a few amendments which arebeneficial for the owners of community radio stations. For example, community radios will get benefit from a trust fund which will be arranged by the government. Similarly, to ensure financial sustainability& revenue, the new policy has permitted the stations to broadcast radio commercials. But the on-air time for such commercials can only be 10% of total on-air time of a day. Till now, all the radio stations are broadcasting with a non-permanent license, but this new policy has ensured that all the licenses - which were and are issued -will alreadybe permanent. And, with the permanent license, the owner now will be able to establish two more stations, thus supporting the expansion of community radios in future
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
Name Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communications (BNNRC)
Civil Society Organization (CSO)