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An opinion sharing meeting on “the role of Community Radio in implementing Right to Information” was held on 28th February, 2011, at 11 a.m. in Information Commission Bangladesh Office at Sher-e-Bangla-Nagar, Agargaon, Dhaka. The meeting was organized by Information Commission.
Ambassador (RTD) Mohammad Zamir of Chief Information Commissioner attended as the chief guest of the program. Information Commissioners –Mr.MA Taher and Dr.Sadeka Halim along with 14 licensed Community Radio Initiators from different parts of the country joined the meeting.
Professor Dr.Sadeka Halim, Commissioner of Information Commission welcomed the participants. Mr.AHM Bazlur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC)described the background and presented the latest progress situation of the Community Radio installation.
Chief Information Commissioner told in his speech that Community Radio could be an effective media for the rural people. So, it should get country-wide coverage .Community Radio contents should reflect the common aspects keeping the area-wise diversity as well .He told that this will also open up sectors of cooperation within the CR Initiators.
Professor Dr.Sadeka Halim, Information Commissioner told that community radio can be one of the best media in implementing the vision of “Digital Bangladesh”. Community Radio has got immense potential in this respect. We have been informed that BNNRC has drafted a “CR Code of Conduct” on Community Radio Operation this Code of Conduct should be finalized in compliance with CR Policy of the govt in line with Right To Information Law. Information Commission may provide all kinds of supports in this respect.
Mr.MA Taher, Information Commissioner told in his speech that community radio will amplify the voices of the rural people .Community Radio may play effective role in ensuring Right to Information. Information Commission and CR Initiators will work closely for achieving this objective.
Among others –Ashik Ahmed from Proyash Manobik Unnayan Sangstha, Dr.Jahangir Alam, Agriculture Information Service (AIS), Kamrul Hasan Manju, Executive Director, MMC, Sabrina Sharmin of RDRS, Representative of Bangladesh Radio, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Different Daylilies, TV and Radio delivered their speech and reiterated their commitment for effective role of community Radio in implementing Right to Information of Bangladesh.
A total of 46 participants participated in the meeting.
Am glad to hear that the forum highlighted the role of a Community radios in transforming the Rural Society, increasing the radio coverage is also very important especially on the sustainability side. most of the farm input dealers and other agro-processors in Uganda they have a lot of interest in using community radio but most challenging question to us is what is your coverage? and when you tell them 20Km radius , they will tell you that for us we are doing business and we need big coverage. so they end up using commercial radio which are located in the city.
For the case of Uganda, am happy that the government waved license for Community radios but this is not enough, the issue of the coverage should be increased a bit to enable community radios to operate sustainably.
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