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Struck today by the death of Abdul Samad Rohani, BBC correspondent for Helmand province and a much-loved figure within the Afghan journalism community. In addition to the BBC, Rohani also worked with the independent Afghan news service Pajhwok. He’ll be much missed. Image swiped from the BBC’s site.
It’s remarkable how vibrant and strong the Afghan journalism community has become over the past few years. While there are certainly problems with Afghan media, whether in sustainability or in news quality, the community has emerged as a genuine support system for both journalists and media outlets. The Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association, Nai, Pajhwok, Tolo TV, Killid, and the Internews project Salam Watandar, and others around the country, from small community radio stations to growing national networks help create a critical mass of journalists working with a strong sense of what it means to be Afghan media. This, despite a lack of security, resources, and hazards to their work from many sides – from Taleban, to US and Afghan military, to speech restrictions such as blasphemy.