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Half of the media outlets in Afghanistan shut down since the Taliban return

Half of the media outlets in Afghanistan shut down since the Taliban return

Since the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan in mid-August, 43 percent of the country’s media outlets have closed, prompting unemployment for 60 percent of male and most female journalists, according to a study conducted by Reporters Without Borders with the Afghan Independent Journalists Association.

The study stated that “out of the 543 media outlets that were counted at the beginning of the summer, only 312 of them were still operating at the end of November 2021. This means that within three months, 43 percent of the Afghan media had disappeared,” according to what was reported by the French press agency.

“More than four out of ten media outlets have disappeared and 60 percent of journalists and media professionals are unable to work now,” Reporters Without Borders said.

This data was calculated based on a count of the number of media outlets and journalists active before the Taliban seized power on August 15, 2021, according to the NGO.

The study added that “until four months ago, most of Afghanistan’s provinces had at least ten private media,” and now “some regions are almost lacking in local media.”

The Kabul region, where media concentration was highest, lost more than half of the media (51 percent) of the 148 media outlets counted before mid-August, only 72 continued to operate at the end of November.

Of the 10,790 people who were working in the Afghan media (including 2,490 women) at the beginning of August, “only 4,360 of them continued to work at the time of the study (3950 men and 410 women)”.

More than four out of five female journalists have lost their jobs, and the study notes that in 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, “there are no longer any women working” in journalism. This is due to “the need for the media to abide by the conditions imposed by the Taliban, which controls these areas, which includes the disqualification of female journalists.”

In the Afghan capital, the number of female journalists decreased from 1,190 before the arrival of the Taliban to 390.

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