#WPFD Lotfullah Najafizada, TOLOnews: "I lost 11 colleagues, all killed by suicide bombs”

Lotfullah Najafizada, is an award-winning journalist and director of TOLOnews, Afghanistan's top 24/7 news and current affairs TV channel. At TOLOnews, Najafizada oversees the largest news operation in Afghanistan

Credit: IFJ Lotfullah Najafizada

1. What is your biggest concern for press freedom in your country? 

"Getting accurate and timely information from officials, at various levels of government, is a big issue for press freedom in Afghanistan. For example, it is often very difficult to get meaningful statements about financial activity from the ministries or about controversial operations from security forces, or about the progress of high-profile cases from the judicial organizations. In early February, 30 news agencies in Afghanistan signed a petition calling on the Afghan government to stop restricting media access to information". 

2. What are your daily challenges as a journalist? 

"The deteriorating security situation is one of the primary challenges Afghan journalists face on a daily basis. I lost 11 colleagues from my media, all killed  by suicide bombs; some were deliberately targeted and others were killed while covering an earlier attack. Despite the Afghan-Taliban peace deal signed on February 28, Taliban attacks have been on the rise around the country, and recent attacks in Kabul claimed by Daesh at public events--covered by journalists--are also a threat. Coronavirus nowadays is another challenge for all--especially for health workers, the police and journalists".

3. What are the  most important stories to cover right now? 

"Coronavirus is in the spotlight in Afghanistan, as everywhere. After this, the ongoing Afghan peace process is the big story. And the current political impasse between President Ashraf Ghani and his long-time rival Abdullah Abdullah over the disputed election results is also an important national story, and international stakeholders also involved".

For further information contact IFJ Middle East & Arab World on +32 (0) 2 235 22 11

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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