Visualizing Media in Afghanistan

Radio, Mobile, Internet and Television Use Mapped by Province

Extensive research into the use of media and access to communication technologies in Afghanistan can be visually explored through a new web site, which maps the most comprehensive survey of media access in the country to date.

Map: Media Landscape in Afghanistan

Using data from Altai Consulting’s 2010 media survey, the site combines quantitative and qualitative research from 6,648 interviews in all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

Through a partnership with Development Seed, Internews created the interactive map and made the data available for easy download. Results are displayed across each province by use of radio, television, mobile phone and Internet, as well as segmented by gender and location.

Nationwide, radio has the highest penetration among Afghans, with 73% reporting they own a radio.  Access differs dramatically between provinces, between rural and urban areas, and between men and women. In Herat, for example, 86% of Afghans own a television, while only 22% own radios. Internet access, however, remains low nationwide, with only 1% reporting access to Internet in their homes.

Afghanistan’s media plays a crucial role in the future of the country. By informing citizens, providing opportunities for discussion, and holding those in power accountable, the media has a substantial role to play in developing good governance. It can also aid economic growth and contribute to better understanding of issues in many humanitarian and development sectors.

Since 2002 Internews has improved the reach, quality, and sustainability of local media in Afghanistan,enabling the voices of everyday citizens by providing better access to the news and information.

Internews’ work in Afghanistan is supported by the Afghanistan Media Development and Empowerment Project (AMDEP), funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). AMDEP is a consortium of partner organizations established to support the growth of an independent, robust and energetic media sector in Afghanistan. Altai’s 2010 research was commissioned by USAID.

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