a huge role in reforming the roles of both the government and community,” said Sayed Habibullah Frotan, former online journalist from Tolo News, which is the most prominent media house in Afghanistan.
Analyzing the power of media in Afghanistan, many journalists believe that the influential media outlets are more popular and vice-versa. “Well, it varies from one particular media to another. For example, we have a broadcast service called Tolo TV that has great impact. However, we do have other broadcast services across the country that are being established for particular ethnic groups such as Hazaras, Pashtoons or Uzbeks, and isn’t that influential,” asks Noori.
Rated as the favourite medium for information, the electronic media (both radio and TV) ruled for long previously. However, social media such as Facebook and Twitter have become the fastest and strongest modes of communication for the public.
While social media is vastly used among journalists, there are still quite a few of them who have never heard of it. In fact, many journalists complain that social media impedes reporting.
“It creates problems too! A reporter was assaulted by the government after he commented on one of the posts on Facebook. We use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at times to express our point of view or share breaking news. Social media is vastly used here but, for sure, there are some restrictions,” said Natiq.
In Afghanistan cyber laws do not exist as such. “There are no proper cyber laws in Afghanistan. Considering that it is an Islamic country, several websites have been banned,” he added. However, Frotan believes cyber laws are strictly applied and are always controlled. Meena Ahmed is a trained journalist who has worked with The News International and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). She is currently working as Group Communications Manager for FNCK Ventures.