For Immediate Release
Thursday, December 22, 2005
IMAM SAHIB, KUNDUZ, AFGHANISTAN- On December 13, 2005, the Deputy Governor of Kunduz, the Mayor of Imam Sahib, the Head of the Information and Culture Department of Kunduz, and several local elders and students inaugurated the first independent radio station in Imam Sahib, the capital of Kunduz Province.
On December 13, 2005, the Deputy Governor of Kunduz, the Mayor of Imam Sahib, the Head of the Information and Culture Department of Kunduz, and several local elders and students inaugurated the first independent radio station in Imam Sahib, the capital of Kunduz Province.
The station, Radio Jaihoon, started broadcasting in May 2005, but was not formally inaugurated until now.
Community radio stations play a vital role in Afghanistan, particularly in the rural parts of the country. Because few villages in the country have electricity and literacy rates are low, battery-powered radio is often the only media capable of linking rural communities with the rest of the country and the outside world.
Surveys show that women even in most isolated villages listen to radio in very high numbers. Community radio is often the only way these villages can tune in to local and provincial as well as national and international programming in their own languages and dialects. Most community radios air a variety of news, entertainment, and self-help programs on topics ranging from literacy, to health, religion, and democracy and governance.
Prior to the overthrow of the Taliban, the only radio network in the country was Radio Afghanistan, and much of its capacity was destroyed during the 22 years that followed the 1979 Soviet invasion.
Beginning in 2002, the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) began setting up a network of community radio stations in Afghanistan through Internews. The network currently has 31 stations, each of which operates with full editorial independence.
As Internews President David Hoffman has said, "These stations are independent from government, USAID or Internews political or editorial control. Each has it own community based governance body, is registered independently with the government as an NGO and owns its own broadcast license."
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Last updated: May 13, 2015