KABUL: Media Watchdogs report the closure of at least 86 radio stations across the country over the past six months. Many of these radio stations have halted operations either due to financial issues or existing restrictions on media.
February 13th marked the UN’s World Radio Day.
Radio is still one the main source of information for most people, particularly in indigenous countries.
“We have a lot of memories from the radio. There was a time when restrictions were imposed on listening to the radio. When we were listening to the radio, we would task one individual to keep a lookout; we were listening to it in secret,” said Mangal, a resident of Wardak.
The recent political change in Afghanistan following the fall of the republican government has severely affected the Afghan media’s radio sector.
Radio Jahan is one of the dozens of radios that has halted operations since August.
“Radio Jahan has halted broadcasting for more than 6 months due to severe economic challenges,” said Mosawar Rasikh, head of Radio Jahan.
According to the media watchdogs, more than 300 various types of media outlets have halted operations since the fall of the former government.
“Our findings show that if the international community doesn’t provide financial support to the media, many of these radio stations will be closed within the next six months–this shows a collapse of the media in the country,” said Hojatullah Mujadidi, head of the Afghan Independent Journalist Association.
In Afghanistan, the first radio started broadcasting in the era of the former Afghan King Amanullah Khan in 1926. The first radio station was named Radio Kabul and was only broadcasting in the capital.