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Key Developments

» News outlets fight media bill, saying it opens door for government control.

» As foreign aid dwindles, sustainability of many news outlets is in doubt.

For the first time since 2005, CPJ documented no work-related fatalities in Afghanistan. But the country remained a dangerous place, with many international and domestic journalists telling CPJ that they had received threats during the year. News outlets united to slow the advance of a media bill that, with its vague terminology, would allow for increased government restrictions on news coverage. As donor nations prepared to scale down military and economic support and funders backed away in the run-up to the 2014 deadline for troop withdrawal, Afghanistan’s vibrant press, with more than 400 news organizations, began to look increasingly overpopulated. Despite efforts by local journalists and international organizations to bolster the Afghan media, outlet managers and owners said the decline had already begun. Some estimated that more than 700 journalists had already lost their jobs by mid-year. The country suffered from an increasingly partisan national media environment; instead, news organizations set up by political or religious leaders looked most likely to survive. Internet penetration remained very low as officials began to implement a World Bank-funded project aimed at quadrupling the rate by 2016.

  • 7th

    Impunity Index ranking
  • 0

    Killed in 2012
  • 1,145

    Civilians killed
  • 5%

    Internet Penetration

With no prosecutions in journalist murders in 10 years, Afghanistan is one of the world's worst nations in combating deadly anti-press violence, according to CPJ's Impunity Index, which calculates unsolved murders as a percentage of each country's population.

CPJ’s 2012 Impunity Index:

1. Iraq
2. Somalia
3. Philippines
4. Sri Lanka
5. Colombia
6. Nepal
7. Afghanistan
8. Mexico
9. Russia
10. Pakistan
11. Brazil
12. India

Although there were no journalism-related murders in Afghanistan this year, the country still ranked as the 10th deadliest country in the world for the press since 1992, according to CPJ research.

Killed over time in Afghanistan:

In the first half of 2012, overall violence in Afghanistan decreased by 15 percent compared with the same period in 2011, according to the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. The decline in civilian casualties reversed the trend of the past five years.

Civilians Killed Over Time (January to June for Each Year):

Afghanistan has one of the world's lowest rates of Internet penetration, according to the most recent data from the International Telecommunication Union, or ITU. Internet penetration has risen very slowly due to poor infrastructure and a high illiteracy rate.

Internet Penetration Over Time, According to the ITU:

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Slideshow: Year in Photos

Slideshow: Year in Photos

Attacks on the Press 2012 »

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