KABUL, Afghanistan – At least 7,000 media practitioners have lost their jobs since the Taliban seized power in August last year, according to sources, as over 200 media outlets have ceased operations across Afghanistan.
Expressing concerns over the deteriorating situation of Afghan media, the Afghanistan Federation of Journalists and Media (AFJM) noted that they had made suggestions to the international community and the Islamic Emirate about the protection of media workers.
But the problem and ever-increasing restrictions continue to grow under the Taliban leadership, who is pushing for the formal recognition since in power.
“In the last year, out of 544 media outlets, 218 of them were closed, and out of 1200 media workers, 7000 of them lost their jobs,” said Hujatullah Mujaddidi, the Head of the Free Association of Afghan Journalists said, as The Print quoted.
Several officials from the media said that they are unable to pay their employees’ salaries due to the poor economy.
“Takhar’s local media is facing economic challenges, it has lost its staff and its activities stopped,” said Abdul Sami Khawari, stated the director of a media outlet in Takhar.
“We had seven employees here, due to economic challenges we have laid them off,” said another media outlet owner, Sadrudin Qunarai to TOLONews.
Media community continues to face overwhelming challenges under the Taliban regime, where numerous organizations were forced to shut down due to economic collapse, threats and draconian reporting restrictions.
“Most of the journalists who have lost their jobs cannot provide food for their families,” said Parween Iqbally, a journalist.
According to AFJM, more than 2,800 women were employed in the Afghan media before the Islamic Emirate came to power; more than 2,100 of them have lost their jobs.
In a recent survey conducted by IFJ-affiliate Afghanistan National Journalists Union (ANJU) across 33 provinces, shows 318 media have closed since 15 August 2021. The crisis has hit newspapers the hardest with just 20 out of 114 continuing to publish. 51 TV stations, 132 radio stations and 49 online media have ceased operations according to the report compiled for the IFJ.
According to some media-supporting organizations, over 70 per cent of media outlets halted their operations since the Taliban came to power.