The evolution of a vibrant media landscape is widely considered one of post-Taliban Afghanistan’s greatest success stories. Internews began working in Afghanistan in 2002, when the country’s independent media was virtually nonexistent. Today, Afghan media institutions are empowering civil society, exposing corruption, and inspiring a new generation of journalists to use information as a vehicle for change.
Internews established two of Afghanistan’s leading media organizations: Salam Watandar, a radio network that includes 67 Afghan-owned and operated partner stations across all 34 provinces and a broadcast footprint of over 14 million people; and Nai, a media advocacy and vocational training organization that has trained over 19,000 people, including 4,143 women, since 2005.
Internews also played a large role in supporting and developing Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN), Afghanistan’s largest newswire agency, that provides Afghan outlets and their international audiences with timely and reliable news from across Afghanistan on a subscriber-based website.
Internews continues to partner with all three organizations.
The transition to a National Unity Government and the drawdown of NATO forces pose formidable challenges for Afghanistan and its media sector in the coming years. Within this context, Internews is launching a range of media development initiatives that promote the free exchange of information and ideas vital to the democratic process, development of civil society, economic growth, greater gender equality, and other aspirations of the Afghan people working towards peace and prosperity.”
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(Nai, the media development organization cited in this article, is an Internews partner.) By MUJIB MASHAL and FATIMA FAIZI