The growth of the media in Afghanistan has been portrayed as a success story, but much of the recent expansion is based on donor support. If this declines, much of the media will wither or fall prey to factional, religious or extreme forces. So says a new policy briefing from BBC Media Action, The media of Afghanistan: The challenges of transition.
It notes: "The role of donors in media support in Afghanistan is probably greater than in any other country at any other time. Such support is largely responsible for the development of such a substantial media sector, but it faces criticism that it is poorly coordinated, short term and not informed by aid effectiveness principles; that it focuses too heavily on advancing the agendas of the donors; and that in some sectors it is distorting the media market in ways that create dependency and inhibit the development of genuinely sustainable Afghan media ventures."
The briefing gives an overview of the media landscape in Afghanistan, examines its impact on Afghan society and looks at the pressures facing journalism in the country. It also examines the role of donors and the shortage of independent national media and provides conclusions drawn from the analysis.
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