Afghan me­dia


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.

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