Afghan youth debates: Khost regional media commit to responsible journalism

Media networks across Khost province in southeastern Afghanistan have pledged to provide robust, impartial coverage of the elections due to be held in just over two weeks’ time.

Spin Rawan Nurzai, editor-in-chief of the regional Milli Ehsas Daily newspaper, says a number of outlets have held joint meetings to stress the need for independent reporting and analysis of the April 5 presidential and provincial-council polls.

The outcome, he told an IWPR debate held on March 13, was that local media were 100 per cent committed to producing fair, accurate journalism that both informed the public and held candidates to account for their policies and actions.

He revealed that a list of regional reporters covering the election had already been compiled and shared across all media platforms in the province in an effort to ensure the widest possible coverage of polling stations.

“Media outlets have agreed it is their duty to commit to impartial coverage of the elections,” Nurzai said.

The IWPR debate was attended by more than 100 students from Khost University as well as local media representatives. The panellists included Mubarez Mohammad Zadran, a spokesman for Khost’s provincial governor, and civil society activists Mohammad Jalal Haqiqat Zadran and Sayed Rahman Aimaq.

As Mubarez Zadran told the event, media organisations understand that biased output will mislead the public at a time when absolute transparency is needed for the elections to succeed.

Numerous independent and government commentators have repeatedly underlined the need for a free and fair elections as a first step towards a more stable and prosperous Afghanistan.

“Following meetings we’ve held with reporters and media outlets, we can confidently state that media outlets throughout Khost will remain impartial,” Zadran said. He reiterated that no outlet would seek to support any particular candidate.

This article was written by Rahim Gul Nayel. It originally appeared in IWPR.


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