Mass media in Afghanistan has experienced numerous ups and downs. And the history of Afghanistan newspapers is old for over hundred years. At present, the role of media in Afghanistan is unclear and subject to censorship due to unstable situations there. But the beginning of newspapers in the country was enriched.
During the Taliban regime, mass media in Afghanistan experienced crackdown and provisions of imprisonment were imposed for listening to music. In fact, a strict media law was practised in the country. Publication of certain things was banned. Hence, the media continued their operation from foreign countries. But the scenarios have changed radically in present context and media of Afghanistan is free from censorship while journalists are free to do their works. Earlier, the journalists were subject to death threats, kidnapping and other types of assaults.
Media in Afghanistan started growing after 2000 and at present, mass media in Afghanistan consists of print, broadcast and social or digital media. In line with the mainstream media, the rise of social media in Afghanistan is remarkable.
The literacy rate is low in Afghanistan and a majority of the local populations are reluctant to read newspapers. Rather, they prefer TV shows. In fact, there are some popular tv shows in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has two state-run daily newspapers and some private dailies as well. The number of television channels is also lower. The newspapers are available in different languages and the circulation needs to be registered with the relevant government authority.
The number of television stations in Afghanistan is over 70 (including the national and international channels) while there is a single state-owned television station available. But not all the television stations are able to broadcast independently. But the international channels are free of the restrictions and many of the mainstream global channels have their local office in Afghanistan. The television channels organized various types of entertaining events for their audiences.
Afghanistan has a remarkable number of radio stations across the country. There are about 150 radio stations are operating at present in the country. The radios operate mostly in two local languages – Pashtu and Dari.
Digital and social media in Afghanistan is gradually climbing. The number of internet users in the country is over 2.5 million and the rate is expanding every day. So, the online newspapers have their prospects. A notable number of online newspapers are operating in the country with a substantial number of audience.
Despite the devastating state of the country, the role of media in Afghanistan cannot be ignored. In fact, if there had been no media in Afghanistan, global people would have no idea how the country actually is being ruled.