In Paktia province over the last 12 months at least eight media outlets—four radio stations, three print publications, and one online publication—have been closed.
According to media representatives, these outlets have been shut down due to financial difficulties, and if the situation continues, more media outlets will stop operations.
“Sadai Gardiz radio, which was operational for twelve years, unfortunately was closed recently due to the economic challenges,” Abdul Rashid Jalalzai, a local reporter, told TOLOnews.
“We ask the Islamic Emirate to cooperate with the remaining media outlets, at least by exempting them from fines,” said Asil Zazi, director of a local radio station.
“The institutions that were supporting journalists and the media, if they don’t help them, the rest of the media will be closed,” said Sahil Mangal, the head of the a journalist committee in Paktia. Local Paktia officials said that they lacked the resources to support the media, but they have taken care of their other problems.
“Many media outlets are still operating without a license. They say that they cannot renew their licenses due to economic problems,” said Khalikiar Ahmadzai, director of information and culture of Paktia.
However, four additional media outlets, two of which are located in the province’s center and two in its districts, are continuing to operate in spite of the economic difficulties.