Monday, July 2, 2012

Afghan Journalists Concerned Proposed Media Law Diminishes Press Freedoms

Taliban controlled areaTaliban controlled area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)A proposed revised media law in Afghanistan could tighten the reins on Afghani journalists in the war-torn country and restrict access to foreign programming, press freedom supporters fear.

According to a Reuters wire story, the proposed revision of a media law enacted in 2009 would strengthen the influence over the media in Afghanistan by the 13-member High Media Council, which is overseen by the Culture Minister and whose ranks include a religious scholar. Nai, a media advocacy group, notes that the proposed law would impose limits on the percentage of foreign programming broadcast on state media and subject such programming to the High Media Council's "acknowledgement."

Media advocates are wary as the Kharzei government pursues peace negotiations with the decidedly media-unfriendly Taliban. Afghanistan receives poor marks from the Committee to Protect Journalists, which ranks the country seventh on its Impunity Index, reflecting Afghanistan's ineffectiveness in stanching the continued widespread killing of journalists.
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