New beginnings: Private radio channels form body

Government’s failure to accept the radio sector has led to financial constraints for FM stations in AJK.

News Desk August 09, 2012

The Kashmir Association for Independent Radio Stations (KAIRS) elected its fist governing body in polls held in Islamabad on Tuesday, said a press release issued by the association.

The chief executive officer of Rose FM radio station, Zafar Butt, was elected as president of KAIRS, Sardar Mehmood Iqbal from Voice of Kashmir (VoK) as vice-president, Umar Javed Shaikh from Geo-88 as general secretary, Sardar Mansoor Zareen from Vok as joint secretary and Yasir Altaf Kayani from VoK as secretary finance. The governing body has been elected for one year.

Speaking on the occasion, the newly-elected president said that his top priority is to get the association registered. Meanwhile, the governing body decided that KAIRS will operate from Mirpur.

Owners and representatives of AJK’s radio sector highlighted various issues hindering development of the radio sector in the region. They pointed out that the sector has been ignored by the government and has not even been included in the press lists.

They said that the government’s failure to accept the radio sector has led to financial constraints, as none of the FM stations in AJK are able to generate revenue through state-sponsored advertisements.

Representatives also highlighted issues with private and corporate sector’s mishandling of the radio sector. They maintained that they face difficulties in not only obtaining advertisement share but also in recoveries. The lack of technical and journalistic trainings and equipment were termed as lingering issues hampering the development of the sector.

The elections were facilitated by Intermedia Pakistan, a media development organisation working with broadcasters in AJK in order to raise the profile of the radio sector in the state.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.


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