Afghan media outlets are running out of budget and are faced with lack of information under the Taliban, watchdog organizations said, alarming that it will leave long-term impacts on their activities.
Figures by media support organizations, including the Afghanistan Federation of Journalists and Afghanistan National Journalists’ Union show that 153 media outlets have ceased operation over the last month due to budget shortage and restrictions in access to information.
The budget issues in Afghan media are due to the economic crisis in the country, the watchdog organizations said.
“Previously, we had projects from government and NGOs and ads from various companies, but now our financial situation is not good," said Abdul Salam Zahid, head of Bost Radio.
“Media are dependent on advertisements but there is no advertisement right now. They will face financial problems in absence of ads,” said Bismillah Watandost, a reporter.
In addition to this, the media also face lack of professional journalists as many experienced reporters have left the country.
“Media’s situation is not good, and it has many reasons. One reason is that professional reporters have left the country,” Zainullah Stanekzai, a reporter said.
The deputy minister of information and culture, Zabihullah Mujahid, said no restriction has been imposed on the free media in the country. He said the media organizations can continue their activities.
However, Mujahid said that some minor problems might exist in some provinces that will be addressed.
“Minor problems exist in provinces, and we are working to address them. We have allowed free media to operate. We also understand that there is self-censorship,” Mujahid told TOLOnews.