Mohammed Fahim Dashti, director of the National Union of Afghanistan Journalists
The news conference of Mohammed Fahim Dashti, director of the National Union of Afghanistan Journalists was held in special desk of Foreign Media in Tehran Press Festival at Tehran's Mosalla building.
Subject: "Afghan media, opportunities and challenges"
Mohammad Fahim Dashti started his lecture by speaking well of Tehran Press Conference and said there not that many placesin which people of media have direct relations with their audience. While admiring such initiatives he went on to say that Taliban' s period was a dark period for the media because there was only one radio and one newspaper, both of which were at the service of Taliban propaganda. He added that after breaking free from the yoke of Taliban, we witnessed that the Afghan media started to flourish to the point that we now have 150 T.V channels, 210 Radio stations, 700 print media and about 30 news agency but since more than 60% of Afghan people are illiterate, 30% do not have access to electricity and only 10% have internet access, very few people have access to the media.
He added that years of entanglement with war, years of deprivation, more than two centuries of suppression has collapsed the social trust and now everyone wants to vent out their pent-up frustration and say what they think is right.
Later on he covered the subject of freedom of expression by saying that in Afghanistan freedom of expression has been ratified in the constitution and there are no barrier for the media to publish anything. Despite all these positive developments, he also said that we do not have independent media because many of them do the bidding of politics groups, government institutions and foreign countries.
He also added that Radio is the media of some 70% of Afghans and social networks are also mushrooming in the country with some two million users.His final words placed emphasis on relying on Iran for improving the role of media in promoting peace, security and culture.