A radio station and a TV channel, both in Balkh province, have stopped broadcasting due to economic challenges and existing restrictions on media in the province, the officials of the two media outlets said.
Nehad radio station has operated for 16 years and Paikan TV channel operated for around 5 years.
With the closing of these media outlets, officials said that at least 25 people have become jobless. “Lack of beneficial support by the media-supporting organizations caused 25 (media workers), including 18 men and 7 women, to become jobless, they were working in these two media outlets,” said Sayed Mohammad Yazdan, director of Nehad station.
The director of Paikan TV Channel, Fardin Abdi, also criticized lack of support by the media-supporting organizations.
“Throughout this period, unfortunately, there has been no serious support by the media-defending organizations or other organizations. We have asked for help many times but we have not received the response which we expected,” he said.
This comes as the Afghanistan’s Journalist Safety Committee for the northern zone said that they were unable to address the economic challenges of these two media outlets.
“We have made efforts, but unfortunately we have not been able to address the economic challenges of these two media outlets and they were thus closed,” said Abdul Latif Sahak, head of the Afghanistan Journalist Safety Committee.
However, the head of the department of Information and Culture of Balkh, Ata Mohammad Saho, said that they have not imposed “any restriction on the operation of media.” “Many media organizations have halted their operations due to economic challenges. The department of Information and Culture has not imposed any restriction in this regard, and we have always attempted to bring facilities for the media and help them with their broadcasts,” he said.
On May 3, on World Press Freedom Day, some media-supporting organizations said that more than 300 media outlets have shut down in Afghanistan in the past two years and that over 5,000 journalists have lost their jobs.