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Restrictive broadcast policy in Bangladesh raises concerns

The following is a 7 August 2014 CPJ Blog post by Sumit Galhotra, CPJ Asia Program Research Associate:

This week, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's cabinet approved a restrictive policy governing Bangladesh's broadcast media. While the policy calls for the creation of an independent commission to oversee electronic media--a positive step, in principle--it's unclear how and how quickly the commission will be formed. Meanwhile, the policy restricts what can be broadcast, raising red flags.

Under the policy, broadcast outlets are prohibited from disseminating any news, photos, or videos that could tarnish the image of law enforcement agencies and armed forces, according to news reports. The policy also requires broadcast outlets to telecast programs of national importance, including speeches made by the heads of state and government. It prohibits any broadcasts that, directly or through advertisements, run counter to the government (emphasis added) or public interest, and forbids the broadcasting of news that could cause "communal discord" or impede national security, according to reports.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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