November 21st coincides with the International TV Day, which is celebrated in most of countries. In Afghanistan in general all media in specific televisions sustain plenty of problems.
On this occasion Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan states the challenges which are barriers to TVs and overall sustained by media in Afghanistan are as following:
Almost all of televisions in the country suffer financial problems, as TVs don’t have any constant sponsor; in a number of provinces TVs sustain serious problems that even it is believed that it causes them to stop their activity in the upcoming months. Nai’s findings determine that entities which give media advertisements for publication don’t pay money at the right time that it had caused media in specific a number of TVs could not pay their employees at the right time; late payment itself has been a separate major challenge to the media.
Following the financial problems, security issue is one of the main challenges which is barrier to the TVs in Afghanistan. Due to lack of security in most of provinces in the country journalists suffer serious security problems in particular female TV journalists. Presence of opposition groups in some provinces has led many journalists to self-censorship and can’t report accurately about what is going on in their environment.
Moreover, since January 2018 more than 18 journalists and media workers have been assassinated and more than 150 violence cases have been recorded at Nai’s Media Watch.
Lack of access to information and dual behavior of officials;
Recorded complaints at Nai reveal that after security and financial problems; access to information is another major problem for media, especially televisions in Afghanistan.
To the extent that security challenges have been problematic, journalists and media outlets in Kabul and provinces sustain lack of access to information, too. Governmental officials, especially local authorities are indifferent in providing information to the media. Media say; lack of access to information and incorrect information which are provided by governmental officials and publicized through TVs have caused people not to believe in media anymore.
And a major portion of the recorded complaints at Nai’s Media Watch indicate that local authorities have dual behavior with local media outlets and provide information to well-known and national media outlets only and act indifferently to local media outlets and don’t share information with them.
Intra Organizational problems;
Along with security, financial and lack of access to information, intra organizational problems have as well been changed in to a serious challenge to media in Afghanistan. Journalists do not have job safety and they aren’t paid at the right time and sometimes suffer dual behavior or humiliated by their managers and media owners. Nai’s reviews reveal that work contracts in some of media are designed as per managers’ preferences which is entirely unilateral and in favor of media owners and against the laws of country.
It should be said that the United Nations General Assembly in 1996 named this date “International Television Day” and the reason behind this is to encourage countries to exchange television programs, especially programs designed to promote peace, social and economic development, and strengthen community cultural affairs.
Nai Supporting Open Media in Afghanistan appeals the relevant entities of government of Afghanistan to work together on a regular basis to prevent the challenges which are faced by televisions in Afghanistan. The government must ensure the security of media and facilitate access to information on the basis of law. Along with this the governmental authorities should be accountable to media outlets and make owners and media managers accountable on the basis of legal guidelines.