Over 200 media outlets shut down in Afghanistan since Taliban takeover

Over 200 media outlets shut down in Afghanistan since Taliban takeover

PESHAWAR: The Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association has said that more than 200 media outlets in Kabul and other Afghan provinces have stopped operating in the past two months.

The association said most recently a local border radio station, established seven year ago in Ghor province, was shut down “because of lack of budget, the resignations of staff and power cuts.”

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Last week, Afghanistan’s only sports television station, 1Sport TV, stopped its operation citing undue restrictions and economic crisis. “Our findings show that in the past two months, around 200 media outlets have been shut down due to economic problems and restrictions,” said the Afghanistan Independent Journalists’ Association.

The association said many of media outlets in Bamyan and Daykundi provinces have stopped operating. According to the journalists’ association, there were 18 media outlets before, but now only two local media outlets are broadcasting in both the provinces. Media outlets have also kept their operation “very limited”. The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has deteriorated the economic and security situation of journalists and media workers as foreign funding organisations have stopped financial support while the ruling group has also imposed strict restrictions.

The National Union of Afghan Journalists recently assessed the situation of media workers in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in a report entitled “the Current Status of Journalists and Media Workers in Afghanistan.” The report based on interviews with journalists and media workers shows that the interviewees have expressed concerns over the current situation of media. The report specifically highlighted the threats faced by female journalists.

The Media Support Association of Afghanistan warns that if the economic situation of the media and the activities of journalists are not addressed, the achievements made in the last two decades in the field of freedom expression may be wasted. They called on the international community to work for the promotion of freedom of expression and to provide financial support to Afghan media.

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