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Access to information has shrunk in 2017: KPC survey

Access to information has shrunk in 2017: KPC survey

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On
Apr 27, 2017 - 13:52

KABUL (Pajhwok): A new study indicates Afghan journalists’ access to information has shrunken, blaming government officials for refusing to cooperate with media representatives.

The Kabul Press Club (KPC), a non-governmental journalists and media support organization, presented the findings of its survey on access to information in Afghanistan today.

Qaribur Rahman Shahab, KPC’s deputy head, told a news conference that 400 journalists had participated in the survey covering all provinces but Kabul. The survey took three months to complete.

He said the survey showed access to information in Afghanistan was far from satisfactory. In fact, the situation had worsened during the current year, he added.

“Four hundred journalists participated in this survey, with 220 totally unsatisfied with provincial officials over their reluctance to share information. Thirty percent said some governors and senior officials even created problems for media activities.”

Shahab said more than 60 percent of journalists showed dissatisfaction in 2017 with the attitude of relevant in terms of sharing information, compared to 50 percent last year.

Aziz Ahmad Tassal, the KPC head, viewed the closure of a number of media outlets due to economic problems and joblessness among journalists was a matter of concern.

He said local media outlets were not in good condition as they had no effective agenda, underscoring concrete steps to support free media, particularly at the provincial level.

Dawa Khan Minapal, deputy spokesman for the president, believed the officials refusing to share information with the media should be interrogated. “We want to have good relations with the media -- one of t basic pillars of the government,” he said.

Seddiqullah Tawhidi, head of Media Watch at NAI, stressed the importance of press freedom in the country. He said people would know nothing about government’s performance in the absence of a vibrant media.

The government needed to facilitate access to information as the media could help improve good governance, he remarked.

The KPC particularly appreciated the governors of Nangarhar, Bamayn, Badghis and Ghazni provinces for extending cooperation to media outlets.

mds

 

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