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Assam news forum demands hike in govt ad rates for news channels

MUMBAI: Electronic Media Forum Assam (EMFA) has requested the state government in Assam to increase the rates of government sponsored advertisements to support the news channels.

EMFA’s request has come in the wake of the state government’s recent decision of increasing the rates of advertising for newspapers by over 60 per cent.

EMFA said the news channels in the state are registered as free-to-air (FTA) channels and are, thus, dependent on advertisements alone for their survival. It also appreciated the hike for newspapers and said that as such the government must consider improved rate of advertisements for news channels too.

EMFA added that news channel managements should use the enhanced fund for the benefit of their employees with structured salaries, other allowances, PF and ESI benefits.

The hike in advertising rates of newspaper ads was taken after a meeting was held on 3 January between representatives of the State Government and newspaper owners’ association. The new rates were announced effective 1 January.

The meeting was called after Northeast Newspapers Society, under which most of the newspapers launched a protest against the Government’s failure to hike its advertisement rates, blacked out government advertisements and state government related news items since 24 December. The ban was lifted on 3 January following the announcement.