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Reporting in Times of War: Press Freedom in Afghanistan 2008 – 2011

June 12, 2011 Comments off

Reporting in Times of War: Press Freedom in Afghanistan 2008 – 2011 (PDF)
Source: International Federation of Journalists/Afghan Independent Journalists Association
From press release (Human Security Gateway)

Journalism in Afghanistan continues to be scarred by seemingly endless conflict but is able, when occasion arises, to celebrate significant achievements At the official commemoration of World Press Freedom Day in 2011, the country’s Minister for Information, Sayed Makhdoon Raheen, remarked upon the growth of Afghanistan’s media as one of the signal achievement of the years since the dismantling of the Taliban regime in November 2001. Within a month of the Taliban collapse, according to Raheen, Afghanistan had sprouted no less than 200 independent media outlets. Ten years later, the figure, as quoted by the Minister in his public address on 3 May 2011, stood at 1000. This is not to discount the difficulties that journalism in Afghanistan faces almost on a continuous basis. It should be counted among the most significant achievements of journalists in Afghanistan that they have put in place a nascent media rights monitoring network, with the most serious instances of media rights violations reported to a world audience. With support from the Commission for the European Union (EU), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has assisted the Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA) and other local organisations to develop this network, with particular reference to promoting free and safe reporting in the context of Afghanistan’s elections in recent years.

If World Press Freedom Day were to be used as reference point, the years since 2008 would seem to suggest a decline in the hazards that journalists face. But the decline in physical hazards, though of some consequence, does not yet mean that journalism is able to function in a congenial environment.

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