RSF: Afghanistan lost almost 60% of its Journalists since August 15

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Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in its latest report expressed concerns over the situation of journalists in Afghanistan and said that since August 15, 2021, Afghanistan has lost 39.59% of its media outlets and 59.86% of its journalists.

“According to a Reporters Without Borders (RSF) survey, in the year since the Taliban took power on 15 August 2021, Afghanistan has lost 39.59% of its media outlets and 59.86% of its journalists, especially women journalists, three quarters of whom are now unemployed and no longer exist in 11 provinces. All this has happened amid a deep economic crisis and crackdown on press freedom,” the report reads.

The RSF report further said that journalism has been decimated during the past year in Afghanistan.

“Journalism has been decimated during the past year in Afghanistan,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Media and journalists are being subjected to iniquitous regulations that restrict media freedom and open the way to repression and persecution. The authorities must undertake to end the violence and harassment inflicted on media workers, and must allow them to do their job unmolested.

Based on RSF’s report, Afghanistan had 547 media outlets prior to 15 August 2021. One year later, 219 ceased their activities.

“RSF’s survey leaves little doubt about the massive impact that the fall of Kabul and the creation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have had on the media. Afghanistan had 547 media outlets prior to 15 August 2021. One year later, 219 ceased their activities. And of the 11,857 journalists tallied prior to 15 August 2021, there are only 4,759 now. Women journalists have been impacted most – 76.19% of them have lost their jobs,” according to the RSF report.

Samiullah Taniz is one of the hundreds of reporters in the country who works in Kabul, but he is concerned about the uncertain future of journalists in the country.

“I have worked in the media for nine years of my life and I have not found time to learn another career,” said Meena Habib, a journalist.

Hojatullah Mujadidi, chairman of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association, said: “The Islamic Emirate should work with the media and journalists to set up a committee to deal with media violations and access to information.”

Thousands of journalists fled Afghanistan as a result of the political change, and some of them are currently living in Pakistan and other countries with no clear future plans.

The journalists and media watchdogs called on the officials of the Islamic Emirate to form a clear scheme for freedom of speech and media policy.

An amendment should be formed for the media. So, based on the scheme of the Islamic Emirate the media should run their activities,” said Abdul Moyed Hashimi, head of Afghanistan’s journalists safety committee.

Meanwhile, Police radio, which had halted operations for nearly three months, resumed broadcasting on Monday.

The Interior Ministry urged citizens to share their problems via this radio with the security officials.

However, due to the shutdown of many media organizations which made dozens of media workers jobless, some Afghan journalists have been forced to take hazardous jobs.

Mustafa Jafari, a cameraman, who has worked in Afghan media for around eight years, is currently working as a vendor.

“I was jobless for four months. I felt that I was going to have mental problems because I was home night and days,” he added.

Based on reported figures, dozens of media employees have recently become jobless after many media organizations stopped their activities due to the economic crisis and what they called the ‘imposition of restrictions’.—Tolonews

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