The turbulent environment in Afghanistan is a hindrance in the way of media freedom.
Often viewed as the incubation unit of terrorists, Afghanistan’s complex and diversified social structure has given rise to despotic regimes and lack of an institutional and structural mechanism which has resulted in human rights violations. Prolonged wars and religious fanaticism has reduced the once culturally rich nation to a mere wasteland where death and destruction has become the norm of life.
As part of an imperative nationbuilding initiative, in early 2002, independent news media institutions emerged pledging to practice ethical journalism and refraining from propagating any personal or political agendas. The national Jirga committee recommended the development of media law and regulatory authorities which would safeguard the media organisations from violence and injustice. But that was not to be the case.
Afghan media took on its role as the fourth estate and became instrumental in exposing the corrupt practices of government and public officials by reporting stories of public interest and along the way became a target for influential groups. According to a senior Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher on Afghanistan, Patricia Gossman, many Afghan officials do not embrace the idea that they are accountable to the general public. “They believe they can quash such criticism through violence and
By Zahra Huseini