Since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021, over 50 percent of journalists lost their jobs, and half of media outlets ceased operation due to economic challenges according to Afghanistan National Journalists Union (ANJU) report.
The report indicated that 53% of journalists lost their jobs and 50% of the news agencies were closed for reasons such as financial issues, the placement of tough restrictions and more.
“Lack of protective laws for the media community, economic challenges, and the placement of restrictions have forced thousands of journalist and media workers to lose their jobs, and eventually leave the country,” said a member of ANJU.
On the occasion of “Journalist’s Day” which is celebrated on March 18 in Afghanistan, several journalists expressed their concerns regarding difficulties to access information under the Taliban regime, and the issues have been shared with the de facto authorities several times so far.
“We ask the current regime officials and relevant government bodies to pay serious attention to the problems of journalists and media workers, and ensure their safety,” said Mehdi Rezaye, a journalist.
The United Nations reported that more than 200 violation cases have been recorded against journalists in 2022, which include arbitrary arrest, mistreatment, harassment, threats, and intimidation.
Media freedom has gone from bad to worse and journalists are suffering from low morale under the ruling regime. Many journalists have been arrested, persecuted, and threatened with death for reporting sensitive issues, or speaking against Taliban members.
According to the estimates, some 6000 journalists and media employees have lost their jobs and most of them are living a desperate life, struggling for survival.
Worst of all, lack of access to timely information from government organizations has become extremely difficult for reporters. They have repeatedly urged the Taliban official to cooperate with journalists in this regard, however, no improvement has been seen so far.