You are viewing an archived web page, collected at the request of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) using Archive-It. This page was captured on 13:12:19 Dec 15, 2015, and is part of the UNESCO collection. The information on this web page may be out of date. See All versions of this archived page.
Loading media information hide
 UNESCO.ORG | Education | Sc. exactes & nat. | Sc. soc. & humaines | Culture | Communication & Info.


Les activités en communication et information

Médias dans les situations de conflits et de post-conflits

Depuis plusieurs années, l’UNESCO aide les médias indépendants dans les situations de conflit et d’après-conflit
© UNESCO/Webistan

A brief overview of the changing media landscape in Afghanistan
During the time of the Taliban regime, television sets were destroyed and most of the media outlets were closed, the only exception being Radio Shari’a, broadcasting Mullah Omar’s statements from Kandahar.

Following the Bonn Agreement, the Afghan media have gone through dramatic changes with the new Afghan Constitution fully endorsing the principle of freedom of expression. A revised Media Law was signed by President Karzai in spring 2004, resulting in a huge proliferation of newspapers, radio stations and TV channels. Most Afghans are now considered “intensive” and “advanced” media users (with the predominance of radio).

In the last two years, the first Afghan commercial broadcasting conglomerate of Arman-Tolo became an economically solid player in the media landscape. Nevertheless, despite this huge development and the remarkable exception of Arman-Tolo (and to a lesser extent of Kabul Weekly), most of these newly-established media outlets cannot rely on a self-sustainable structure, as many areas of Afghanistan are still not covered by electronic media and are just reached by international shortwave radios or by satellite. Also concerning is the issue of journalists’ safety, which is still jeopardized by warlordism, insecurity, hostility from religious scholars, lack of rule of law and lack of implementation of the media legislations.

In the media sector, in addition to 56 government papers, by January 2005 over 250 other papers, periodicals and magazines were printed in Kabul and at least 60 weekly papers and magazines were in circulation in the provinces. Growth in radio has also been exponential. Today the regulating authorities have issued licenses to more than 40 independent FM radio stations and a dozen of TV licenses. About 30 of these radio stations are in a country-wide programme-sharing network called Tanin and put in place by Internews, thanks to funding from EC and USAID. Some of these radios are community-based, and four of them are entirely run by women.

If a first ‘emergency’ phase in assistance to Afghan media can be considered accomplished, the road to consolidating pluralism in Afghanistan is still long. In fact, the Afghan media sector is now at a turning point: UNESCO has been approached to provide technical assistance for producing guidelines to help define how the ‘Commission for Radio and Television’ will operate in the future; the Afghan broadcasting authorities must define clear rules for allocating frequencies and slots on the main antenna towers; and the private media are facing the challenge of trying to consolidate their activities and protect themselves against accusations of blasphemy.

Another issue of grave concern in Afghanistan is the safety of media professionals. On 18 May 2005 there was the first assassination of a media professional since 2001: Shaima Rezayee, female presenter at Tolo TV. Last year, several cases of kidnapping, illegal arrests, and threats were also registered. The High Court ordered the arrest of Ali Mohaqiq Nasab, editor of the monthly Haqooq-i-Zan (Women's Rights), after articles published in the magazine were deemed "un-Islamic" and "insulting to Islam" by local clerics, the first case of this kind (the Afghan Press Law states that blasphemy and defamation are the only limit to freedom of the press). During these crises situations the national NGO ‘CIJ’ emerged as an essential network for the protection of journalists, followed by the Afghanistan Independent Journalist Association (AIJA) and Committee to Protect Afghan Journalists (CPAJ).

To conclude, in the last few years, free media have played a key role in helping Afghan society rethink itself, rediscover its heritage and invigorate a society based on co-existence, tolerance and social justice, as well as providing a media environment conducive to a fair election process. In the future, pluralism could be strengthened and reinforced in provinces and remote areas, and that could contribute in tackling the remaining insecurity, warlordism, drugs and terrorism that threaten the peace process, governance, and the rule of law. Among the main challenges facing Afghan media outlets in the next biennium are those of self-sustainability and surviving the expected decrease of international aid to the sector. Another challenge is consolidating an environment of freedom of the press against attacks from some elements of society which are reluctant to accept a free media.

Médias dans les situations de conflits et de post-conflits et Afghanistan


A voir