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Editorial: Media Outlets Under Attack

In the past 20 years, one of the greatest progresses in Afghanistan was freedom of expression and free media. Both the former and incumbent governments not only supported free media, but treated as fourth pillar of democracy. Since the fall of the Taliban, the Afghan media sector has experienced dramatic growth in all areas. Today we have several TV channels, radio stations, newspapers and news agencies. The media community is holding tremendous potential for making significant contribution to peace-building. But it doesn’t mean everything goes very well, the media sector is still confronts numerous challenges that impede its ability to realize this potential. What we, the Afghan media achieved in this period of time is due to hard working. Tremendous achievements have been made even in the face of scant resource. The Afghan media is nascent but they are much professional now. If we compare Afghan media outlets with some regional countries, you can easily feel the differences. We are much free than them. Without doubt the Afghan media outlets are a symbol of freedom of expression and institutionalization of the foundation of democracy. Afghan media has shined in the sky of media community in the region. We don’t have any journalist behind bars. It won’t be wrong to say that Afghan journalists and media professionals are fully committed to serve the nation while following the principles of professionalism and journalist ethics. Of course Afghanistan is in need for such free media outlets as we are in war. Media can change soldiers and pens into sword against the national enemy whether its government officials who are involved in corruption cases or other criminal offenses or the other side including the Taliban. We report on both. We don’t discriminate because we understand the value of freedom of speech and we have the sense to remain impartial. Our voice is the voice of the Afghan people, and we do report what we see. We also defend our culture against alien’s culture. But this journey has not been so simply we lost dozens of our committed journalists. Only in the past four months, 11 journalists were killed in the new wave of targeted-killings. But what has come in shock is that today security officials claimed that one of the media outlets is involved in explosive trafficking. The irksome is that no more details were given by the interior ministry. The ministry has to name the outlet and provide full evidence because in such a very dangerous time, such a claim could further create other sorts of problems for the journalists across the country. All details must be shared in immediate time as it will also vanish media credibility.

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