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Afghan Radio-TVís Journalists get Internet and Newsrooms in Kabul, Herat, Mazar and Kandahar

31-05-2005 (Paris)
National Radio Television of Afghanistan (NRTA) newsrooms with TV production equipment and Internet in Kabul, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif and Kandahar were inaugurated on 24 May 2005. The newsrooms were created as part of an Italian-funded UNESCO project to support TV public broadcasting in post-war Afghanistan.
The US$ 1.5 million project includes the provision of training and equipment to NRTAís professionals in Afghanistan.

The Kabul news-desk is fully equipped with furniture, satellite Internet (first access to WWW for NRTAís journalists), communication tools, printers, photocopying machines, satellite televisions and fifty computers networked in a LAN covering three buildings, with fiber optic connection, a server, and TV production equipment. The branch offices in Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif and Kandahar received also a Ďpackageí including: essential TV production equipment, basic training and an Internet connection. A dedicated File Transfer Protol (FTP) system will enable TV news-items to be sent from provincial offices to the headquarters by web-streaming. English language proficiency has been provided since June 2004 to more than one hundred staff including high-ranking managers, journalists and popular radio-tv presenters. TV production for external non-live production with DV cameras and three mini-flying coaches was also handed over. On-the-job training has been started and will be continuously developed to mirror the needs of NRTA, targeting also branch offices.

Strengthening NRTA as an editorially independent public service broadcaster has been a ongoing effort of UNESCO in Afghanistan. UNESCO supported the participation of NRTAís top-management to ABUís main events such as the Asia Media summits; it is offering technical assistance to the newly appointed ęIndependent Commission for Radio and TelevisionĽ; and facilitated and sponsored the preparation of a Position Plan on the transformation of the State-funded national broadcaster, and the countryís national news service, the Bakhtar Information Agency (BIA). On the occasion of the inauguration of the newsrooms, UNESCO also handed-over to NRTA a fully equipped training centre for NRTAís staff provided in the framework of a US$ 30,000 IPDCís project.

The newly renovated NRTAís facilities were officially opened in Kabul by Sayed Sangcharaki, Deputy Information and Culture Minister for Publications; Gulan Hazrati, NRTAís President and Director-General; Ettore Sequi, Ambassador of Italy to Afghanistan; and Malama Meleisea, Director of UNESCOís office in Kabul. KoÔchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, Margherita Boniver, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Zaher Aziz, Afghan Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, assisted in webconference from Paris to the inauguration in Kabul during the opening session of a Panel debate about Public Service Broadcasting in countries in transition
Related themes/countries

      · Afghanistan
      · Public Service Broadcasting: News Archives 2005
      · Media in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations: News Archives 2005
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