Journalists in Afghanistan Complete IFJ Training


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its

affiliate, the Afghan Independent Journalists’ Association (AIJA), concluded a

workshop in Kabul

on March 29 in which journalists were trained to train others on reporting on

elections and political issues.


Fifteen experienced journalists from various provinces,

including Paktika, Zabul, Faryab and Takhar, participated in the four-day

workshop. The first two days included sessions on training techniques followed

by two days on the practices and processes of democratic elections and the role

of the media in election coverage.


The training, which is part of an IFJ-AIJA Media for

Democracy project supported by the European Union, also contained sessions on

reporting and interpreting elections in Afghanistan's historical context; legal

issues; electoral processes; transparency and public service journalism; and analysis

of political campaigning styles and electoral systems elsewhere the world.


In the context of Afghanistan’s political transition,

journalists have faced increasing challenges in accessing information and

reporting freely and transparently without fear of retaliation from militant

groups and other parties.


Over the past 12 months, three journalists have been killed

in Afghanistan

and numerous others have been harassed and threatened.


In the past week, three journalists were arrested by

Afghanistan’s National Security Directorate for the alleged crime of

criticising a neighbouring state.


“Journalists in Afghanistan have an important role to play

in the country’s transition to democracy, particularly in providing the public

with fair, balanced and transparent reporting during the lead-up to and

coverage of national elections,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.


“The IFJ deplores the Afghanistan Government’s failure to

bring to book those responsible for the recent murders of journalists and its

effort to clamp down on free speech.


“We hope that with the kind of training that was recently

concluded, Afghanistan’s

journalists will be able to strengthen their professional competence and unity,

and also mobilise better in defence of their collective rights”.


For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific

on +612 9333 0919


The IFJ represents over

600,000 journalists in 122 countries