In a country where the vibrant and free press means so much, the recent attacks in Afghanistan that killed 25 people, including nine journalists, are an absolute tragedy.
We mourn the loss of these colleagues. For more than 15 years Internews has had the privilege of knowing, working with, and supporting this community. To a person, they are dedicated, brave, and committed to contributing to their country by providing news and information.
In a country with prolonged challenges, the growth of a strong, independent, and trusted media sector has been a uniquely bright spot. The vibrant media landscape includes roughly 100 TV channels and 250 radio stations. There are more than 200 newspapers and magazines, 34 news agencies, and more than a dozen journalism schools.
In a statement to the BBC acknowledging the attack on media as the deadliest in 15 years, the head of Tolo TV, Lotfullah Najafizada said, “We went, all of us, to the blast site. We said: ‘If you killed an entire line of journalists reporting here, in five hours time we’re back here; the line is longer; the queue is longer and the resolve is greater.’”
The dedication of the media community to their work is breathtaking. We know that despite this vicious attack, the independent spirit of Afghan journalists will not be extinguished, and we stand by their side.