Afghanistan’s media fora are on the verge of a breakdown as they're confronting with a paucity of allocation following the takeover by the Taliban in August this year. A survey published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) demonstrates that about 43 per cent of Afghan media portals have shut down their projects, leaving almost 60 per cent of journalists unemployed. Women have been suffered much, approx four out of five (84 pc) have relinquished their jobs since the Taliban takeover, as against one out of every two men (52 pc). The Taliban governing many localities compel conditions on the local media that include not hiring any women journalists at all. The media landscape is now largely bereft of women journalists, even in provinces such as Kabul where traditionally there were more of them.
The survey asserts the takeover by the Taliban radically altered Afghanistan’s media landscape. Of the 543 media fora functioning in the country at the onset of the summer, only 312 were running at the end of November. A total of 231 media outlets had to hut and more than 6,400 journalists forfeited their jobs since mid-August, it said. This suggests that 43 per cent of Afghan media outlets withered in the space of three months. Just four months back, most Afghan regions had approx. ten privately-owned media outlets, but now some regions have nearly no local media at all.
There used to be 10 media portals in the mountainous northern area of Parwan but now just three are operating. In the western city of Herat (the country’s third-largest) and the surrounding province, only 18 of the 51 media outlets are still running – a 65 per cent fall. The main Kabul region, which had surplus outlets than anywhere else, has not been spared the carnage. Of the 148 estimated before August 15, only 72 are still functioning. The closure or rebating in the activities of media outlets has had a primary effect on employment in the media sector.
MUZZLING THE VOICES
The spaces for reporters in the capital and the rest of the country have become exceptionally fraught since the Taliban seizure of political control.
Media is now obliged to conform to the “11 Journalism Rules” put out by the information and culture ministry and with the Taliban version of Islamic philosophy on “Enjoining good and forbidding wrong.”
In some regions, the commitment to displace news and music programs with programs whose content is entirely religious has also steered some local radio stations to halt broadcasting.
“Journalists’ safety, the fate of women journalists, media legislation and the right of access to news and information are all critical issues that the authorities must address without delay," said Reza Moini, the head of RSF’s Iran-Afghanistan desk adding that "without a free press capable of exposing bad governance’s failings, no one will be able to claim that they are combating famine, poverty, corruption, drug trafficking and the other scourges that afflict Afghanistan and prevent a lasting peace.”