Media boom; 27 new outlets begin operating

KABUL (SW) – In the last year and a half, 27 new media outlets have started to operate in different provinces over the country, according to the Afghanistan National Journalists Union.

Hojatullah Mujadadi, head of this union, says that after the collapse of the republic of Afghanistan, 27 new media outlets, including two visual media, 17 radio stations, five news agencies and two new print media have just started to operate.

According to Mujadadi, after the Islamic Emirate came to power, 28 previously inactive media outlets have reactivated. “After the transformations, the reactivation of media outlets indicates a growing interest in media work. 28 media outlets, including four TV channels, 19 radios, and two print publications, have reactivated.” He told Salam Watandar.

Mujadadi, adds that many women have started working in the media organizations that have just started to operate.

Meanwhile, officials of some nascent media outlets, while considering their activities positive, are calling for financial support from authorities.

Sahar Sirat, head of “Voice of Parwan Radio” which has just started to operate, says that there are 12 individuals working in this radio organization which has been operating for a year. He says: “Our goal since the beginning of our activity is the growth of the media community, and educational programs will be made through the radio for those who were deprived of education, so that they can be taught in this way.”

AhmadShah Khadem, one of the officials of other radio station in Kapisa, says that the continuation of their activities requires the financial support. “Content of this media outlet is primarily educational, news, and cultural. We mainly focus on social issues in this radio. Most of our collaborators are students of Albiruni University, using it as a practical platform for their activities; only five to six individuals are supported financially by us.” He added. Khadem, identifies the main challenge for this media as limited financial resources.

On the other hand, Sediqullah Tawhidi, a media activist and former head of Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, says about the importance of media activities: “In human communities, information is a human and citizen right. The presence of media is essential for human development and administrative reforms that it encourages people towards education and learning; the more diverse the media, the more varied voices are reflected.”

However, Hayatullah Mohajer Farahi, the deputy of publishing affairs of the Ministry of Information and Culture, says that the Islamic Emirate supports the media based on Islamic values, national interests and traditions of Afghan citizens.  He adds: “30 media outlets have started working.  In the media sector, there are radios, print media, and YouTube channels.”

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Information and Culture, currently, 360 media outlets are operating inside Afghanistan, and 1,500 individuals have recently started working in media.