World Radio Day: Afghanistan has lost over 130 radio stations under the Taliban

Nai, an Afghan media advocacy group, has said that more than 130 radio stations has ceased to operate since the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021.

Marking the World Radio Day on Monday, Nai said its “findings indicate that out of 307 radio stations, less than 170 radio stations are active in Afghanistan.” Adding that 48% of Afghan audio media had been forced to close due to economic challenges.

“Radio has played an essential role in awareness and access to information in Afghan community, and has been able to attract a large audience,” Nai said.

The first radio station in Afghanistan began broadcasting in 1927 from Pul-i-Hirat in Kabul, and it has been widely used throughout the country, especially by rural communities, to stay informed about events in Afghanistan, the region, and the world.

Afghanistan Journalists Centre in its annual report in December 2022 said that “over half of Afghanistan’s 600 active media outlets (audio, video, print, and online) have ceased operations.”

The Taliban has imposed severe restrictions on media freedom, forcing some Afghan media outlets to move their operations abroad, many to close altogether, and some who have remained comply with the group’s restrictions.