The Kabul Times.
Politics

Journalists: the eyes & ears of public

March 18 coincides with National Journalist Day in Afghanistan. Freedom of expression and open media operations are one of Afghanistan key achievements attained during the past 17 years.
Cabinet of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has recently approved 18 March as the National Day of Journalists to honor their courage in upholding democracy in the country.
Role of journalists is significant in a society as they deliver the most last information to the people and play the role of bridge between the people and government officials.
Journalists inform the public about events and issues and how they affect their lives. They spend much of their time interviewing expert sources, searching public records and other sources for information, and sometimes visiting the scene where a crime or other newsworthy occurrence took place. After they’ve thoroughly researched the subject, they use what they uncovered to write an article or create a piece for radio, television or the internet.
In Afghanistan, journalists are always facing with problems and challenges. They are sometimes threatened by local powerful individuals or armed opponent groups and local government officials. But, no organizations have addressed such problems of journalists in the country so far.
Those threatening journalists and creating problems in works and operations of them should be legally treated. There are still problems facing journalists in the country. They consider lack of access to information, not providing information and resources by spokespeople of government institutions and lack of cooperation in the respective institutions as main problems ahead of works of journalists.
During the past few years, a number of writers and media workers have lost their lives in Afghanistan due to explosions and shootings. Besides, they have faced with various physical violence, injuries, arrest, threat and direct insults.
According to Afghan Journalists Safety Committee (AJSC), in 2018, a total of 121 cases of violence against journalists and media workers, including cases of murder, injury, threats, temporary detention, abduction, and many more. 17 journalists and media workers were killed this year, which once again places Afghanistan as the most dangerous country for journalists. In addition to 17 cases of murder, 15 cases of injury, 21 cases of physical assault, 38cases of threats and intimidation, 23 cases of insults and mistreatment, 1 case of inappropriate expulsion of journalist by a media manager, 5 cases of temporary detention, and 1 case of abduction.
The statistics of violence against journalists in 2018 show a 28% decline compared to 2017, as in 2017, the committee recorded 169 cases of violence against journalists and media workers. Similarly, murder figuresshow a 15% decrease compared to 2017 in which 20 journalists and media workers were killed. From 17cases of murder in this year, the Taliban and ISIS have been responsible for 15 cases, the perpetrators of the two other cases of murder are unidentified.
Similar to 2017, ISIS and the Taliban are responsible for the majority of cases of violence, namely 50 cases. Individuals affiliated with the government rank second, as they are responsible for 44 cases of violence.
Lailuma Noori

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The Kabul Times.