Fact Check: No AIR station is being closed anywhere in any state, clarifies Prasar Bharati
Prasar Bharati has said that it is, in fact, moving ahead with its plans to strengthen the Akashvani and All India Radio network
No All India Radio (AIR) station is being closed anywhere in any state, the broadcasting organisation Prasar Bharati has said, claiming the reports of closing several stations across the country, which have left the avid listeners worried, are false and baseless.
Taking a serious note of the false reporting and fake news claiming closure of AIR stations by various media outlets across India, Prasar Bharati has made it clear that these reports are factually incorrect.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Wednesday, Prasar Bharati has said that no AIR station is being downgraded or converted anywhere in any state or union territory.
The clarification comes months after media reports suggesting Prasar Bharti is making efforts to shut down several government-financed-radio and television channels came to light.
On November 30, a PTI report said that CPI MP Binoy Viswam has written to Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar alleging that Prasar Bharati is making "concerted efforts" to shut down government-financed radio and television channels and said online mediums cannot be a substitute for them.
"I write this letter to bring to your attention a matter of immense importance that requires your urgent intervention. There has been a concerted effort by Prasar Bharati to close down government-financed means of information dispensation both at the regional and national level," the CPI Rajya Sabha MP from Kerala stated in his letter.
"The first such action was taken in 2017, where 769 television channels were closed down. Now, radio stations are being targeted in a similar manner,” Viswam said.
The CPI MP also alleged that AIR stations in Kerala were especially being targeted.
At that time, the news had left the avid listeners of AIR in Kerala worried and saddened.
The report was carried by several media outlets including The New Indian Express, Outlook India, The Hindu, among others.
Not only has Prasar Bharti dismissed the media reports, but it has announced that it is moving ahead with its plans to strengthen the Akashvani, All India Radio, AIR Network with several key projects ready for implementation during 2021-2022, expanding its network with more than hundred new FM radio transmitters across India.
The AIR Network comprising of few hundreds of stations and several hundreds of radio transmitters is one of the world’s largest public service broadcasting networks that operates in multiple modes – Terrestrial analog radio (FM, MW, SW), Satellite DTH Radio (DD Free Dish DTH), Internet Radio (NewsOnAir App on iOS/Android).
With 48 Satellite Radio channels available on DD FreeDish DTH Service, local and regional voices on radio stations from across India now have a nation-wide platform to make themselves heard.