To promote increased access to information on the electoral process, in preparation for the April 5 presidential elections, Internews worked with Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) to create the open-source elections website, VOTE.af. PAN is Afghanistan’s leading newswire service.
The website, which received 15,364 visits in February, features voter information, connections to national institutions engaged in the elections, as well as detailed pages for all 34 provinces, with local news and local election information.
To promote the website, in February PAN secured a partnership with a leading national daily newspaper The Afghanistan Times to include a “provincial feature story” from VOTE.af on page two of every edition.
“We realized that our clients wanted more than just news reports,” said PAN Director and Editor-in-Chief Danish Karokhel. “The feature turned out to be popular and The Afghanistan Times showed interest in publishing them in their newspaper. We are working hard to publish longer and more comprehensive features.”
The Afghanistan Times Editor-in-Chief Abdul Saboor Sarir added, “When we started to publish Pajhwok’s features, we saw marked improvement in our readership. We have received positive feedback in the form of emails and also the number of visitors to our website.”
The Afghanistan Capacity for Media and Elections project is funded by Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).