KABUL, FEBRUARY 5: Since the Taliban took over, at least 318 media outlets have been closed in 33 of 34 provinces in Afghanistan, said a report.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in a report on Thursday said, “51 TV stations, 132 radio stations, and 49 online media outlets have ceased operations. The crisis has hit newspapers the hardest with just 20 out of 114 continuing to publish”, reported Tolo News. Expressing concerns over the status of the Afghan media community, the IFJ said that only 2,334 journalists are still employed “from a pre-Taliban high of 5069”.
72% of journalists who lost their jobs are women, according to the IFJ. “243 women are still employed by the media”, added the IFJ report. “From threats to draconian reporting restrictions and from economic collapse to the withdrawal of development funding the picture is catastrophic, not just for journalists who have lost their jobs or been forced to flee but also for citizens who are being denied access to information”, IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said.
Further, the Afghan media community called on the Taliban to help the media gain access to information, reported Tolo News. “If the immediate steps are not taken towards the situation of the media in the country, only a certain number of media organizations will be active in Afghanistan in the near future”, said Hujatullah Mujadidi, Head of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association.
“We call on the international community to invest in media to protect the process of access to information in the current Afghan situation”, said Hafizullah Barakzai, head of the Afghanistan Journalists Council. Some journalists called on the international community to address the collapse of the Afghan media community.
“If the restrictions imposed on media remain in force, the media organizations will stop operating and will collapse”, said Samiullah Pam, a journalist. “We call on the international community to seriously consider the situation of the Afghan media. We call on the government to assist with the media in access to information”, journalist Naseem said. (ANI)