Taliban members attack journalists covering a women's rights protest in Kabul on October 21, 2021. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

Afghanistan’s media crisis

One year after the Taliban takeover

Published August 11, 2022

The Taliban’s August 2021 takeback of power in Afghanistan has had a devastating effect on the vibrant media landscape that developed after the U.S.-led invasion 20 years earlier. Between censorship, arrests, assaults, restrictions on women journalists, the flight of experienced reporters, and the country’s declining economy, Afghan media are struggling to survive. Yet in spite of these challenges, CPJ’s interviews with numerous Afghan journalists and media experts show glimmers of hope amid the difficulties. Afghan journalists are finding ways to keep covering the news–either from inside the country or from their places of exile.

Read CPJ’s recommendations for protecting journalists and press freedom in Afghanistan here.

The recommendations are also available in فارسی ,العربية, and پښتو.

Afghanistan’s media faces crisis—and opportunity

TOLONews presenters work with their faces covered in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 22, 2022. (Reuters/Ali Khara)

* Watch CPJ’s ‘One year later’ video

Twelve months after the Taliban takeover, many Afghan journalists are out of work or on the run. Others try, very carefully, to challenge the powerful.

By Steven Butler

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Inside an Afghan news network’s struggle to survive

Threats, insults, beatings and censorship: Former Ariana News staffers detail dire challenges during a year under Taliban control.

By Waliullah Rahmani

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Taliban fighters patrol a street in Kabul on August 29, 2021 (AFP/Aamir Qureshi)

Keeping hope alive

(Photo courtesy Afghanistan International)

* Watch CPJ’s videos about Afghan journalists in exile here and here

Afghan journalists continue reporting despite an uncertain future.

By Sonali Dhawan and Waliullah Rahmani

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‘I thought about the efforts and struggles of two decades… and cried.’

The founder of a news agency dedicated to covering the lives and concerns of Afghan women tells her story.

By Zahra Joya

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Rukhshana founder Zahra Joya (Photo courtesy Zahra Joya)

Watch CPJ’s video about the pressures on women journalists

Opinion: Courageous journalism is happening in Afghanistan. How we can help.

Kathy Gannon (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Sounding the death knell on journalism in Afghanistan is an insult to those tenacious Afghans who continue to report, edit, and broadcast under difficult conditions.

By Kathy Gannon

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