Despite its important role, community radios are confronted time and again with the issue of sustaining their operation. With no regular source of revenue, many have remained poorly equipped and understaffed.
This challenge, among other ones, has led to the formulation of a new and timely policy in Bangladesh, thereby terminating the old one. As a result, the Community Radio Installation, Broadcast and Operation Policy 2017 is now in effect in the country. Among others, this policy allows the community radios to devote 10 percent of their total airtime to commercial advertisements. The law does not provide the commercial advertisers to influence the radio programs and its management.
Community radios are engaged in bringing about positive change in society with the help of modern knowledge and technology. Considered as the “Voice of the Voiceless”, it is a tool by which local people can influence the direction of social progress in their own locality.
In the age of enormous development in science and information technology, the world turns to be a “Global Village.” It has been assumed that the importance of radio has declined in this age of global domination of electronic media. But in reality, the importance of radio has not decreased in developed, developing, and least developed countries. Moreover, radio still assumes its vital role of strengthening public awareness and education, nurturing culture and humanitarian values among the cross-section of society.
Through its new initiatives of creative programming, a number of community radios have been installed dedicated to the needs of the different grassroot communities and population in Bangladesh. These radio stations are aired using the local dialects of the local communities they serve. Their main feature also involves the participation of the members of the local communities in its programming, content, and management. (BNNRC, March 2017)
For the English version of the policy, please visit: https://www.slideshare.net/bnnrc/community-radio-installation-broadcast-and-operation-policy-2017-in-bangladesh-english-version.