The information ministry has given its approval to 13 new television channels, 14 FM radio stations and 60 community radio stations as the current government steps down. While any healthy democracy requires healthy and competitive media, monopolistic practices and patronage by political parties as is happening in Bangladesh is not a good sign.
The new television channels will be an addition to the 27 channels that already exist. And yet, this excess of channels is not an indication of diverse ownership, because they are almost all tainted by the appearance of partiality due to political benefaction.
It is unclear as to what kind of scrutiny these license applications actually go through. As has been seen in the past, new licenses mostly go to ruling party-backed media houses, who do little more than pay lip-service to government agendas. Most of the new licenses granted by the AL government were to AL ministers, advisers, and lawmakers.
The licenses are rarely based on any actual professional commitment that would enrich our broadcast media and improve their standards overall. Matters such as media ethics are also ignored, resulting in widespread political bias all over our airwaves, to say nothing of low quality.
Such bias compromises the credibility of media, as well as our democracy