95% Afghan journalists unable to cover stories independently: Media survey

Lamenting over diminishing freedom of expression post-Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, a media survey showed that 95 per cent of Afghan have the problem of access to information and they cannot cover stories independently.

National Union of Afghanistan’s on Sunday in Kabul released the statistics of the polling that was conducted in all 34 provinces of during which 500 Afghan were questioned, reported The Khaama Press.

As per the numbers, 90 per cent of the attendants are facing serious problems in collecting information as there is no specific law of access to the information after the Taliban regained power.

“We asked attendants if the media are censored, 90 per cent said yes and only 10 per cent said no, 90 per cent attendants said yes to the question of access to information while the same percentage said they have been censored by de facto authorities,” said Masroor Lutfi head of the Union.

The polling has also found that 30 per cent of Afghan journalists found it difficult to interview Taliban authorities while 50 per cent said that they have problems in interviewing common people, reported The Khaama Press.

“The interference by the (Ministry) of information and culture is a big challenge in the provinces. Nearly 30 per cent (of interviewers) said the withholding of interviews by the Islamic Emirate is a serious problem. Over 50 per cent said that the people are afraid of the situation and are not willing to give interviews,” said Lutfi.

Farkhunda, one of the female journalists who has worked for five years in media said that the media environment for women employees has become untenable, reported Tolo News.

“When female journalists go to a site to cover the event and take information, they are denied by the ministries and others,” she said.

The media survey comes as journalists have been accusing the Taliban of censoring, beating, intimidating, and threatening them while covering stories especially outdoor ones, reported The Khaama Press.

According to some media-supporting organizations, over 70 per cent of media outlets halted their operations since the Islamic Emirate swept into power, reported Tolo News.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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