153 Afghan media shut down in less than a month
Organizations supporting free media in Afghanistan said on Monday that since the fall of the former government in mid-August, 153 media have gone out of business in 20 provinces.
According to officials of the organizations, these media include radio, print and television channels, and economic problems and restrictions are believed to be the main reasons.
Officials said that if the financial media crisis is not resolved and restrictions on them are not lifted, more media will likely cease to operate in the country.
“If media support organizations do not pay attention to the media, we will soon see the shutdown of other media in the country,” said Hujatullah Mujadadi, deputy director of the Afghan Federation of Journalists.
“The continuation of this trend has raised concerns. We urge international organizations to take immediate action to address this issue. Otherwise, it will soon be the end of press freedom and other human and civil freedoms, ”said Masroor Lutfi, representative of the National Union of Afghan Journalists.
Media officials who went out of business confirmed that due to economic problems and restrictions, they were no longer able to function.
Milma Radio, stationed in Paktika, is one of the channels that recently ceased operations. The radio was created in 2011 and covered political, cultural, economic and sporting topics.
“Due to an inappropriate working environment and economic problems, we have stopped our activities,” said Yaqob Khan Manzoor, editor-in-chief of the radio.
According to Manzoor, Milma Radio had 35 employees with reach in 13 provinces. Now all of the former employees are unemployed.
Jamaluddin Elham, a former radio reporter, said: “Unfortunately, due to economic problems our radio station has ceased to operate.
“The radio station has ceased operations due to economic hardship and we have lost our jobs,” said Mohammad Ikram Shahab, a journalist.
Organizations supporting free media in Afghanistan say the economic problems are serious and operating under restrictions creates great challenges for the media.
The Taliban, however, said they would try to create a safe environment for the media and journalists to continue their work.