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Govt. spokespersons panned for ignoring reporters

AT News Report

KABUL: Afghanistan Journalists Safety Committee lambasted government spokespersons for what it accused them of not giving timely information to the journalists that has caused barricade on freedom of speech in the country.

The pro-journalists body said failure of government spokespersons for timely respond to the journalist’s questions, would also help the insurgent groups to easily spread their nefarious propaganda.

“The offices of spokesperson were set up to provide information and they have obligation based on law to accurately answer questions of reporters,” said chief executive of Afghan Journalists Safety Committee, Sediqullah Tawhidi. “By being unresponsive, spokespersons put journalists in trouble for accurate information, and that they report which indirectly paves ground to spread propagandas in favor of insurgent groups.”

Tawhidi accused the government of being reluctant to build a good relationship with the media staffers and journalists.

Rafiah Sediqi, a journalist based in Kabul, said many of his colleagues faced challenges to get a spokesperson to answer their questions. According to him spokespersons cooperate in small events, but they did not pick phone calls of journalists when something big happens, like suicide bombings, especially in Kabul city.

Zabihullah Zaher, another journalist, claimed that spokespersons refused to answer their questions during Monday’s Kabul attack.

“Many spokespersons have become social media users, who post and send selective video clips to journalists,” said Khater Pardes, a Kabul-based reporter.

Feroz Bashari, Chief of Government Media and Information Center, said that cooperation between journalists and spokespersons increased dramatically. When there are evil attacks, one spokesperson cannot talk to all media outlets at the same time, Basheri added.

Basheri highlighted that spokesperson use social medias to speed up providing information to journalists. Yet still, journalists said that using social medias will avoid being asked further questions.

Afghanistan has become the worst place for journalists to operate in. From attacks of insurgent groups to harassment by government officials, Afghan journalist carry heavy burden of difficulties to provide accurate information to the people.

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