In the first year after the Taliban takeover in August 2021, Afghanistan lost almost 40% of its media outlets and 60% of its journalists. Now, those still reporting do so at the risk of censorship, termination, physical and psychological abuse, and arbitrary arrests. Women journalists are hit hardest: three-quarters of them are now unemployed.
But as tensions increase, our work in Afghanistan has evolved well past media and journalism. We’ve come to realize our partners on the ground rely on us for broader support, and we’re expanding rapidly to fill that need. Keeping quality content in circulation means first prioritizing the physical safety of journalists on the ground. Once media outlets are safely relocated, they have space to be more critical of the Taliban authorities than those based in Afghanistan.
Throughout the past year, Internews has been supporting independent radio, TV, and online media outlets to pivot to new operational models. As potential income from ads and donors has greatly diminished, independent media outlets need financial support to continue to retain staff and produce content. Some of these outlets are working from exile, like the well-known 8AM Media (Hasht-s-Subh) and Khabarnama News Agency; others are still active in the country. All have continued to produce vital content for the Afghan people.
We continue to prioritize:
Internews has been in Afghanistan for two decades, working alongside Afghan journalists, media entrepreneurs, and technologists as they fostered a media sector that, at its height, employed thousands of women, reached every province, and became one of the most trusted institutions in the country.
We cannot watch that progress be erased.
We sincerely thank you for your donations, on behalf of our organization and the journalists serving their communities around the world. It wouldn’t be possible without you.
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