Media freedom promotes openness, human rights and a culture of peace
Media freedom and the role the media plays in fostering peace, promoting human rights and accountability was the focus of a recent UN-backed radio series in southern Afghanistan.
During two radio discussions in Zabul and Nimroz provinces, panellists called for greater media freedoms including freedom of expression and access to information which they argued was critical in promoting human rights, peace, trust, and accountability. The panellists further underscored the need for a more conducive environment in which media are free to inform citizens on national issues, as well as guard against human rights violations.
Speaking on Radio in Nimroz, the Head of Journalists’ Protection Committee in the province, Ghulam Sakhi Ahmadi, said the media serves to promote dialogue, tolerance, and interaction among communities and by extension avert conflicts. “The media in Nimroz continues to highlight and generate discussions on local peace efforts, human rights, and good governance,” said Ahmadi.
In a similar programme on Shaikh Mati Radio in Zabul, the provincial Governor’s Spokesperson, Gul Islam Siyal, called on media and policymakers to work together. “The local government is always ready to provide first-hand information to the media to facilitate their work of informing the citizens,” he said.
Supported by UNAMA’s regional office in Kandahar, the 16-part radio series in partnership with Burna and Shaikh Mati radio stations is part of a countrywide outreach programme to create platforms using radio, television, and social media for Afghans to engage in dialogue and discuss critical issues affecting their communities.