Challenges of Reporters on coverage of peace process
The most important challenges over journalists in the coverage of the peace process is lack of access to information. Although members of the government and the Taliban were talking with the media, but the first-hand information from the negotiations were not available to reporters and reporters couldn’t aware people from the newest information. But when both sides of the talks do not respond to reporters, and in some cases the answers are not satisfactory. When reporters could not achieve information from the first handed resources, they were forced to obtain information from second-hand resources. Second-hand information is classified information. This information is ambiguous, misleading, and there is no information that people decide based on it. When the information from second-handed sources were provide by the media, and based on that sometimes these reports opposed the morale of negotiations. Sometimes the publication of such reports challenged the peace process.
The Taliban, whose position is unknown against the media and use the media only in order to achieve power and popularity between people. Although the Taliban in Doha was in appearance with the media, but they had different react with women reporters that it shows that the Taliban have not changed yet. The Taliban still have not announced their position against the activity of media, especially activity of women journalists in Afghanistan. Taliban said that they accept media activity in Afghanistan but with some limitations and the limitations are not clear now.
In contrast, the government of Afghanistan and the United States, who supports democracy itself, did not support one of the components of democracy that is freedom of speech, and in Doha, one of the journalists in a deliberate way removed from coverage of the peace negotiations and has sent to Afghanistan. The Taliban, do not have any specific opinion on freedom of expression, but the government and the United States have, and they did not support the media and the libertarians of a correspondent stripped in such a process of freedom.
The targeting of journalists and civil society activists from unknown people and also the intensification of the war are the other challenges of journalists during the coverage of peace process, which has contributed to the weakening of the morale of journalists and sometimes journalists censor themselves.
The media is determined to cover the peace process. But the government should take some preparation for media coverage of this process before the next negotiations. The government must create a regular process so that the information is available to the media and through the media people aware from that information. The media does not want to be present at the table of negotiations; But the information and what is discussed at the table of negotiations is important to be share with the media. The government and the Taliban must put credible information available by their spokesmen in peace negotiations. Not as before the anti-and contradictory information from both sides were said to the media, and then people react to their words. And whenever the Taliban and government count the reactions, they changed their views and said that the pervious speeches are not accurate. We want to have access to real information from both sides during the peace process and freedom of expression should not be removed during the peace talks.
Interviewer: Marjila Badakhsh
Interviewee: Shahpoor Farahmand, Ariana News’s peace and war reporter