Nearly 86 radio stations have closed in Afghanistan in the past six months since the Taliban took control of the war-torn nation. This came as the United Nations commemorated the 11th edition of World Radio Day on February 13. According to Tolo News, the current political transition in Afghanistan with the collapse of the Republican government has had a significant impact on the radio segment of Afghan media.
In addition, media watchdog organizations have pointed to financial difficulties, as well as political ones, as the main causes for the demise of the Afghan media.
According to Tolo News, Radio Jahan is one of dozens of radio stations that have ceased broadcasting since August. Mosawar Rasikh, the head of Radio Jahan, said: “Radio Jahan has suspended its broadcasts for more than six months due to severe economic difficulties.”
The head of Zamzama radio station, Shafiullah Azizi, pointed to the fact that about 70% of radio stations in the country have closed. Azizi went on to say that under the current circumstances, the factors include economic issues as well as broadcast schedules. “On the other hand, the government insists on collecting taxes from radio stations,” added the head of Zamzama radio.
More than 300 different types of media organizations have been shut down since the Taliban took power
On top of that, according to statistics, more than 300 different types of media organizations have been shut down since the Taliban came to power on August 15. Hojatullah Mujadidi, head of the Afghan Independent Journalists Association, noted that their findings reveal community provides financial assistance to the media, most of these radio stations would cease within the next six months, signaling a media disaster in the country.
Despite the fact that the media instrument has evolved technologically in several ways, radio remains one of the main sources of information for people in various countries, according to Tolo News. In 1926, during the reign of the former Afghan king Amanullah Khan, Afghanistan’s first radio station was established. Radio Kabul was the very first radio station to operate in Kabul.
95% of Afghan journalists found it difficult to get information
Meanwhile, a media poll indicated that 95% of Afghan journalists struggle to get information and are unable to publish news freely. According to The Khaama News, the National Syndicate of Afghan Journalists in Kabul held a press conference on January 16 to reveal the results of the poll, which was conducted in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan and included 500 Afghan journalists.
According to the survey results, 90 percent of respondents have significant difficulty in obtaining information because there are no clear guidelines for obtaining information after the Taliban regains control. According to the poll, 30% of Afghan journalists indicated that it was difficult to interview Taliban leaders, while 50% pointed out that it was also difficult to interview ordinary Afghan citizens.