The Kabul Times.
Editorial

Reduction of violence against journalists

Media and News 02

Reporters Sans d’ Frontiers (RSF) in its annual report said the other day that violence against journalists and media workers has decreased by 44 percent worldwide compared to last year, with 495 journalists having been killed, detained, and held hostage in 2019.
But in its report, the organization said that coverage by the media has been declined in Afghanistan because of lack of security and some other problems, which might explain the lower numbers.
“The number of Kabul-based foreign correspondents has halved since 2014. The decline in the foreign media presence and reporting can be attributed to worsening security conditions.” But it said that unlike previous years, bombings and attacks directly targeting journalists or media outlets were less deadly in Afghanistan.
Regarding casualties of Afghan journalists, the report said: “Elsewhere, reporters are increasingly better prepared and trained for conflict zones and often better supplied with protective equipment – all of which helps to reduce the dangers in a hostile terrain.”
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. 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 violences, injuries, arrest, threat and direct insults.
Since its establishment, the National Unity Government has taken bold steps to further improve freedom of expression and activities of the free media in the country. A joint committee of government and media was established with second Vice President on the chair and has so far addressed hundreds of the cases of violence against women in the country.
Meanwhile the government with close cooperation of the international community and the media has taken many capacity building programs to help improve the professional activities of the media as well as to guide them on how to deal and cover the emergency incidents.
The country’s president has time and again said he was the key supporter of media and freedom of expression and is committed to do so and protect media and journalists’ activity all over the country.
Therefore, to safeguard the nascent democracy, that media being considered as the key component, any kind of violence against journalists, that sparing no efforts to inform the society on socio-economic, cultural and political developments in the country, should be prevented and ground should be prepared for their further activities. Therefore, the government organs should seriously take actions against those committing crime against journalists and the culture impunity for crime against them should be ended.
Any threat or act of violence against a media worker endangers not only that individual’s ability to exercise his or her right to freedom of expression, but also the rights of many other members of society to receive and access information freely.

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The Kabul Times.