Mashal TV resumes operations after two-year hiatus

Mashal TV, a television network in Kabul, at an event on Tuesday, resumed its operations after a two-year hiatus.

During a ceremony held on this occasion, the head of the TV network announced that Mashal TV would engage viewers with broadcasts encompassing news and educational content.

“Mashal TV commenced its operations in 2018, providing broadcasts until 2021, at which point our transmissions were halted. After a two-year pause, Mashal TV has resumed its broadcasts,” stated Fathullah Babkarkhil, the founder of Mashal TV.

The revival of this media outlet has been received positively by numerous journalist rights organizations, offering a ray of hope for the media landscape in Afghanistan.

Hojjatullah Mujaddi, the head of the Afghanistan Journalists Association, expressed, “This is indeed a promising development for Afghanistan’s media community.”

During the event, Taliban officials emphasized that the media should consider “national interests” in their reporting.

According to the Afghanistan Journalists Center, the Taliban has systematically curtailed media freedom and restricted access to information in Afghanistan through the issuance of 13 directives. These guidelines encompass a wide spectrum of media-related matters.

Data from the Afghan Independent Journalists Association (AIJA) reveals a significant decline in the number of media outlets in the country. More than half of the 547 registered media outlets in 2021 have since vanished. Among the 150 TV channels, fewer than 70 continue to operate, and out of the 307 radio stations, only 170 remain on air. The number of news agencies has decreased from 31 to 18 during this period.