Following the political change in Afghanistan, media outlets in the province of Uruzgan have laid off some staff members due to financial issues, and only a small portion of those staff members are operating on a volunteer basis.
The officials of local media outlets in Uruzgan said that if the situation continues like this, the activities of all local media outlets may stop in the province.
“We had 25 employees in the past, but now there are five of them, four of whom work for free, and one who carries out technical work and we pay,” said Baryalai Mangal, head of Salam Uruzgan radio.
“We cannot pay enough money for the eight employees who are working with us. We cannot give them money that will meet their needs or cover the expenses of their families,” said Shah Mahmood Hamdard, head of Paiwastoon TV.
The officials of these outlets asked the Islamic Emirate and media support organizations to financially support media and the journalists.
“If the economic challenges continue like this and there is no support for the media, I am afraid that the media currently operating in Uruzgan will all collapse,” said Ehsanullah Welesmal, an official of Shams radio.
“We ask the international aid agencies, especially the media support organizations, to provide financial assistance to the Afghan media, especially the media located in Uruzgan and the journalists,” said Najibullah Latif, head an Uruzgan journalists' group.
Meanwhile, local officials of Uruzgan confirmed these challenges, saying they are trying to resolve them.
“Afghanistan is facing economic crisis, this is the biggest reason for this,” said Ghulam Nabi Ulfat, head of the department of Information and Culture of Uruzgan.
According to a survey done in December 2021 by Reporters Without Borders and the Free Union of Afghan Journalists, 231 print, visual, and audio media outlets out of 543 private media outlets had closed for a variety of reasons, including financial difficulties. This study indicates that 5,928 journalists out of 10,479 have lost their jobs.