AT-KABUL: Afghanistan Times marked its tenth anniversary on Monday here. Scores of journalists, writers, former and current officials participated in a ceremony held in this connection.
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, said that stability, impartiality and reporting about the current situation are not easy task particularly providing stories and articles in English. It is a challenging work.
According to the publication contents in the last ten years, Afghanistan Times mostly has made efforts to disseminate impartial information to the public thoughts. The newspaper in the last ten years was witness of developments in fields of preparation of standard news interviews and reports and it is expected this newspaper would have bright future with more progression.
Former Chief of the National Directorate of Security, Amrullah Saleh, said that for the first time, Afghanistan Times as an independent English outlet has broken the record in the country to convey the extensive message of people to its readers.
When the nations face great challenges, media turn into soldiers and pen turns into a sword against the enemy.
Today, Afghanistan faces danger of cultural invasion. Afghan media has significant role to defend their culture against aliens’ culture.
Poverty, war, disunity and discrimination is our injuries enemy wants misuse from this gape and pour salt on our injury through different ways but our media have fundamental responsibility to struggle against these stranger plots.
Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, in his message said that freedom of speech and freely activities of the media has been a great achievement of government people of Afghanistan in the past half and one decade. This effort was as a result of tiredness endeavors of journalists and those who lost their live in this aspect and government is obligated to support from this huge achievement.
Media is the eye and light of young democracy and supporter of developments of the country and their positive role in promotion democracy, peaceful living activities of culture is irrefutable.
Ten years ago, Afghanistan Times started publication among the media family, at the time when the world needed to know the incidents and development of the country, correctly and transparently.
Impartiality of Afghanistan Times and refection of political evidences in the country made this outlet as trustful and important news agency for national and international readers.
The National Unity Government is committed to support freedom of speech at all cost.
Deputy Minister of Border and Tribal Affairs, Abdul Ghafoor Lewal, on the occasion said that it was a great pleasure that Afghanistan times has managed to keep impartiality and independence.
Independence has two dimensions, financially and professionally.
It is natural that those who financially support the media will impose their views and policy over the organization as well.
Afghanistan Times gradually embarked toward independence and possessed self-printing press in the past ten years.
Another one is political and professional independence. We hope this paper reaches the independence.
Although some measures are taken by Afghanistan Times for political and professional independence, but still needs more steps in this element.
Afghanistan Times worked enough for development of Afghan culture which is a great informative matter for foreign readers.
Head of the National Union of Journalists in Afghanistan, Abdul Hamid Mubarez, said that despite some progresses Afghan media still face censor challenges. Afghan media outlets neglect or fail to fight against censor problems.
Nepotism is still seen bigger in different circles including media which has failed to fight this phenomenon.
Media outlets only concentrate on negative criticism, it is required of printing and broadcasting media to positively criticize the issues and consider the national interests in reporting.
Deputy Minister of Culture and Information, Sayeda Muzhgan Mustafawi, said that such papers were needed to convey the voice of Afghanistan to the world. Fortunately, Afghanistan Times is doing this.
Media’s progress was very well, but still it is a need to work on quality of reporting.
Media must work for improving Afghan culture to the readers and viewers as its responsibility requires.
Founder of American University of Afghanistan, Dr. Sharif Fayez, said that despite challenges, the Afghanistan Times has seen progress very well to satisfy its readers.
Afghanistan Times focuses on Afghan culture, but it needs further concentration in this aspect.
Head of Pajhwok Afghan News Agency, Danish Karokhel, pointed out that Afghanistan Times is well active among the printing media in English language.
Afghanistan Times successfully follows journalism standards and has taken the voice of Afghan people to the world in English.
This paper focuses on publishing internal issues, but it needs to bring balance in publishing national news inside pages and concentrate further over domestic issues than foreign news.
Around 170 printing and broadcasting media closed during the past two years. I call on the related organs to step up efforts for supporting media across the country.
Renowned Afghan journalist, Rahimullah Samandar, said that Afghanistan Times is a unique paper among the limited English newspapers in the country.
This paper has all standard pages which is required in a newspaper.
As Afghanistan Times is self-reliant paper, it should focus more on quality.
This paper must establish a business plan to include the layout of design and publish news and photos categorically base on values. International media takes news from newspapers, but in Afghanistan newspapers take news from electronic media outlet that reveals a weakness.
As Afghanistan Times’ readers are mostly foreigners, the opinions of Afghans and the issues related to Afghanistan should be published instead of writings of foreigners.
Afghanistan Times struggles to keep impartiality, but it needs to work more in this regard.
Foreign affairs expert, Danish Bakhtiari, said that the governments can get more power by using the power of media outlets in international relations. Turkey reached development, but Afghanistan failed, because Turkey made the political structure and political outline and latter focused over development of society.
In Afghanistan, the issue was on the contrary to this policy, before specification of political outline the government at the time concentrate over development of society, where this improper trend faced the country between a conservative and modernization issue.
The country will reach development, while the rights of citizens are respected fully.
Head of Kabul News TV Channel, Jailani Zwak, said that completing 10 years by an English newspaper and reach self-reliance is very difficult in a country where reading of newspaper is not institutionalized.
Afghanistan Times found its audiences and is working very well for its readers particularly foreigners.
Head of Female Journalists’ Union, Shafiqa Habibi, lauded Afghanistan Times for publishing special woman pages and urged this paper to work further for gender equality and women improvement in the country.