In 2022, many local media outlets in Afghanistan faced financial hardships. At least 10 media outlets were closed in Kabul and the provinces, according to watchdog organizations.
Two TV networks, seven radio stations and one news are the media outlets that stopped their operations in 2022. Many journalists lost their jobs after the closure of the media outlets.
“During 2022, we witnessed a decline in media and sadly, many of our colleagues lost their jobs,” said Farhad Behroz, deputy head of the Afghanistan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA).
Voice of America and Radio Azadi or Radio Free Europe reported separately on December 1 that the Islamic Emirate has halted their broadcasts in Afghanistan.
The Islamic Emirate said the broadcasts have been halted due to the cancellation of their contracts with the Radio/Television of Afghanistan (RTA).
“This issue belongs to the Ministry of Information and Culture. Both sides have contracts which have been canceled and this stopped their broadcast,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.
Nargis Radio in the province of Nangarhar stopped broadcasting this year as a result of financial difficulties, and its staff lost their jobs.
“Radio Nargis has stopped its operations due to economic issues,” said Shafiqullah Rahmani, former manager of Radio Nargis in Nangarhar.
A report by watchdog organizations shows that 86 incidences of harassment of journalists were reported in 2022.
Some journalists said they did not have access to crucial information in 2022.
“The media could not have access to information from sources they were meant to receive it from. This itself caused the shutdown of media outlets,” said Masiullah Ahmadi, a reporter.
The Media Violations Commission was formed by the Ministry of Information and Culture to address the problems facing the media.
Although it was expected that some of the commission's members would be women, the position for women was later cancelled.
On November 30, the ministry of information and culture said the law on access to information, relevant to media groups, was shared with the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.
“The decision is that all problems faced by media outlets should be solved by one address, especially the Ministry of Information and Culture,” said Muhajir Farahi, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture.
Currently, 83 TV networks, 213 radio stations, 28 news agencies and 20 print media are active in Afghanistan.
Figures show that 225 media outlets in Afghanistan have reportedly stopped operations over economic issues and some restrictions since the previous government collapsed.
The Islamic Emirate has praised some journalists' efforts but despite that, 2022 was a tough year for the media.