On World Press Freedom Day, the Afghan media community expressed concerns over the lack of access to information and the lack of a Commission of Media Violation (CMV). General concerns over the uncertain fate of the media in Afghanistan were also raised.
“The Afghan journalists are facing problems in access to information,” said Mirwais, a journalist.
This comes as media watchdogs said around 40 percent of media outlets have halted operations over the past several months and many journalists and media workers have become jobless.
“We are celebrating May 3 as more than 40 percent of our media outlets have been closed. Around 80 percent of women journalists and 60 percent of male journalists lost their jobs. The situation has also affected the content of our media organization,” said Hujatullah Mujadidi, head of the AIJA.
“We hope that these challenges be solved so journalists can be in a better situation,” said Idrees Faroqi, head of 1TV channel.
“Access to information and the formation of the Commission of Media Violation could reduce the problems with which the journalists are struggling with right now,” said Meer Ali Azghar Akbarzada, a member of the Afghanistan Journalists' Federation.
This comes as World Press Freedom Day has brought serious attention of the international community to the Afghan media, with many people and groups expressing concern over the situation of the Afghan media community.
“On World Press Freedom Day, we should reflect on both the importance of free media and the sacrifices journalists make. We honor their sacrifice by protecting press freedom wherever it's under attack,” US Chargé d’Affaires Ian McCary said on Twitter.
UNAMA released a statement of the Friends of Afghan Women Ambassadors' Group on World Press Freedom Day, saying they “deplore the erosion of rights for journalists and media institutions under the Taliban.”
Jasper Wieck, German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said in a tweet that “Press Freedom is key for Afghanistan and Afghans. Restrictions on national and international media outlets must stop.”
The Islamic Emirate’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said they support the activities of the media in Afghanistan:
“The main reason that (the) number of media outlets have stopped their operation(s) since the withdrawal of US forces was their reliance on foreign funding,” he said. “We assure media outlets in Afghanistan, that we will do our best to help them solve their financial problems.”