Since Taliban takeover, over 6,000 Afghan journalists have lost jobs; women journalists severely impacted

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Dec 23, 2021, 05:43 PM(IST)

Since Taliban takeover, over 6,000 Afghan journalists have lost jobs Photograph:( Twitter )

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Four months ago, most Afghan provinces had at least 10 privately-owned media outlets. However, now, regions have no local media at all

A recent survey has revealed a drastic change in the Afghan media landscape since the Taliban took over. Carried out by non-profit organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA), the survey talks about how 231 media outlets have been shut and over 6,400 journalists have lost their jobs since the Taliban takeover.

Four out of five women journalists are no longer working.

The head of the International Federation of Journalists earlier said that journalism in Afghanistan is in danger of disappearing. He further said that reporters trying to continue working under the Taliban have been subjected to beatings and imprisonment. 

Four months ago, most Afghan provinces had at least 10 privately-owned media outlets. However, now, regions have no local media at all. 

A report by RSF cited the example of the mountainous northern province of Parwan where there were at least 10 media outlets in total. However, now just three are functioning. 

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In Herat and several surrounding provinces, only 18 of the 51 media outlets are still operating. The central Kabul region has lost more than one of every two media outlets. It had the maximum number of media outlets in Afghanistan. Now, out of the 148 tallied before 15 August, only 72 are still operating.

This has led to a major impact on employment in the media sector. At the beginning of August, 10,790 people worked in the Afghan media, out of which 8,290 were men and 2,490 were women.

When this survey was carried out, only 4,360 people, including 3,950 men and 410 women, were remaining. 

"Six provinces have seen three-quarters of their male journalists lose their jobs. But no female journalist at all is still working in 15 of the countries 34 provinces. For example, in the northern province of Jowzjan, which used to have 19 media outlets employing 112 women, none of the 12 media outlets still operating is employing a woman," stated the report. 

Anthony Bellanger, secretary-general, IFJ while speaking to the Guardian said, I believe what we will see emerge is an official media – a Taliban media – and no women. All other journalists will just disappear. It wasn’t easy before – and even before the Taliban took power, journalists were killed – but it is very bleak now."

(With inputs from agencies)

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