KABUL: Media outlets in Afghanistan have been hit by a collapse of previous government and over 6,400 journalists in Afghanistan have lost their jobs since the Taliban rode to power, a dramatic change in the country’s media landscape this year, according to a survey.
Conducted by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA), the survey says that over 231 media outlets have had to close down.
More than four out of every ten media outlets have disappeared and 60 percent of journalists and media employees are no longer able to work.
The hardest hit among all are women journalists as 80 percent of them have lost their jobs since Taliban took control of Kabul.
“Of the 543 media outlets tallied in Afghanistan at the start of the summer, only 312 were still operating at the end of November. This means that 43% of Afghan media outlets disappeared in the space of three months,” the RSF said in a statement.
Just four months ago, most Afghan provinces had at least ten privately-owned media outlets but now some regions have almost no local media at all.
“There used to be 10 media outlets in the mountainous northern province of Parwan but now just three are functioning. In the western city of Herat (the country’s third largest) and the surrounding province, only 18 of the 51 media outlets are still operating – a 65 percent fall,” the RSF said.
“The central Kabul region, which had more media that anywhere else, has not been spared the carnage. It has lost more than one of every two media outlets (51%). Of the 148 tallied prior to 15 August, only 72 are still operating,” it added.
The Taliban had promised women’s rights, media freedom, and amnesty for government officials in the group’s first news conference after the takeover in August. However, activists, former government employees, and journalists among others continue to face retribution.