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Insecurity on polling day shrank broad media coverage: Nai

AT News Report

KABUL: Open media supporting organization in Afghanistan Nai on Wednesday said that insecurity on the Election Day curtailed the media coverage of the Saturday’s Presidential Election across the country.

Officials of the Nai said that after the election, at least 250 reporters in 25 provinces during interviews told the media watchdog that coverage of the polls wasn’t comprehensive.

Abdul Mujeeb Khalvatgar, the Nai Managing Director during a press conference here said that the ‘Taliban threats’ were the main hurdles that resulted in low election coverage.

Due to the Taliban threats, the reporters didn’t visit remote areas, said Khalvatgar, adding the media coverage was thus not standard and appropriate.

He said the reporters interviewed who discharged their duties as observers responded that the level of voter turnout on the Election Day was low. “About 25 percent of the respondent said the breakdown of telecommunication networks on the polling day had a direct impact on the reporting practice.”

Meanwhile, at least 16 percent of the interviewees cited the lack of access to information, another 16 percent the misconduct of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) officials and 10 percent others the misbehavior of security forces as reasons and challenges behind the pale coverage of the election.

This comes as some media outlets confirmed that due to insecurity they couldn’t dispatch their staff to far-flung districts and areas.

Meanwhile, the Taliban insurgent group had earlier warned that they would disrupt the election and asked the people to refrain from voting so that they weren’t targeted in attacks.

Although there were dozens of attacks conducted by the Taliban in various parts of the country but according to the government officials, none of these assaults were to an extent whereby they could sabotage the democratic exercise in a specific area. 

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