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Media outlets in tatters as crisis deepens in east

AT News

KABUL: Local media outlets in eastern Afghanistan have recently been struggling with serious challenges, Afghan Journalists Safety Committee said on Friday.

“Since the fall of the former government, six radio stations have been closed in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Laghman, Nuristan–five of them halted their operations due to economic challenges and another one stopped because of the lack of its employee–who was female,” said Yousuf Zarifi, head of the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee in eastern Afghanistan.  

Meanwhile, some journalists expressed concerns over their economic status, saying that they have lost their jobs as many media outlets have recently halted operations. 

Shukulla Sadat is a female journalist who has worked with a local media organization for many years in Nangarhar province.  

“I was working as a local reporter at Radio Jawanan. I have worked for two years in the media. I was preparing reports on general issues about women,” she said.  

Shukulla was also working with a charity committee, but the committee is closed now.  

She is not the only journalist to lose her job due to the recent crisis in Afghanistan.  

“If the Islamic Emirate, international community, or media-supporting organizations don’t help the media with financial issues, the current media will stop their activities,” said Saleh Mohammad, a journalist.  

But officials said that the Islamic Emirate has allowed women in areas where their existence is necessary.  

“As long as men have rights, women also have their rights in Islamic Society. Women are part of the society. We have not prevented women in environments where they are needed,” said Mawlawi Amanullah Adel, deputy of the department of information and culture of Nangarhar.  

A survey conducted by RSF and AIJA shows that since August, 40 percent of media outlets in Afghanistan have ceased operating, and 80 percent of women journalists and media workers have become unemployed due to restrictions. 

“A total of 231 media outlets have had to close and more than 6.400 journalists have lost their jobs since 15 August. Women journalists have been hit the hardest, with four out of five no longer working,” the survey says.

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