Members of the Taliban Intelligence Special Forces guard the military airfield in Kabul (Photo: Reuters)
More than 6,400 journalists in Afghanistan have lost their jobs since the Taliban takeover of the country, according to a recent survey.
The survey conducted by non-profit organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) shows a radical change in the Afghan media landscape since the Taliban took power.
As many as 231 media outlets have had to close.
The Taliban takeover's impact on Afghanistan's media has been dramatic, according to the survey by RSF and its local partner, the AIJA.
More than four out of every ten media outlets have disappeared and 60 percent of journalists and media employees are no longer able to work.
The hardest hit among all are women journalists as 80 percent of them have lost their jobs since Taliban took control of Kabul.
"Of the 543 media outlets tallied in Afghanistan at the start of the summer, only 312 were still operating at the end of November. This means that 43% of Afghan media outlets disappeared in the space of three months," the RSF said in a statement.
Just four months ago, most Afghan provinces had at least ten privately-owned media outlets but now some regions have almost no local media at all.
"There used to be 10 media outlets in the mountainous northern province of Parwan but now just three are functioning. In the western city of Herat (the country's third largest) and the surrounding province, only 18 of the 51 media outlets are still operating - a 65 percent fall," the RSF said.
"The central Kabul region, which had more media that anywhere else, has not been spared the carnage. It has lost more than one of every two media outlets (51%). Of the 148 tallied prior to 15 August, only 72 are still operating," it added.
The Taliban had promised women's rights, media freedom, and amnesty for government officials in the group's first news conference after the takeover in August. However, activists, former government employees, and journalists among others continue to face retribution.
Reports have emerged from Afghanistan of an increasing crackdown by the Taliban on journalists. Reporters covering protests and rallies have been harassed by Taliban fighters.
(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.)
First Published: Dec 24 2021 | 8:57 AM IST