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25 May 2010

Independent Media Capacity Building Partnership

A new alliance of Afghan and international media organizations has come together to improve coverage of key development issues in Afghanistan, foster media industry sustainability and break the country's regional and international isolation.

The project is a creative partnership of weekly print publications, radio stations, Afghan and international wire services and journalism training organizations. It is led by the Killid Group (TKG), with project partners Pajhwok Afghan News, Inter Press Service (IPS), Sayara Media and Communication and the Centre for International Journalism (CIJ).

Together these organizations have extensive experience in covering development and gender issues and the local media expertise to work effectively in Afghanistan.

Over the last three years there has been extraordinary development of independent Afghan media, but the sector is still fragile with too few qualified journalists, weak management and financial instability.

According to Project Coordinator Ricardo Grassi, contracted by TKG, the partnership will consolidate the new media in Afghanistan by supporting specialized reporting of development issues, developing long-term training resources and improved media management skills.

"Hundreds of journalists, journalism students, university professors and independent media managers will benefit from the project" said Grassi. "And our regional focus is a huge boost for media organizations and journalism training outside of Kabul."

Workshops will be delivered on health education, environment, gender, human rights, and general development issues. Trainees will use their new expertise to report on these issues for print and radio in Afghanistan and for international news wires. Training manuals will also follow from the workshops with long-term benefits for Afghan universities.

The project will also seek collaborative agreements with media in the neighboring countries, and with intergovernmental, governmental and non governmental organisations now active in Afghanistan.

The project is funded by the European Commission (EC) under its media development policies to improve the understanding of journalists on gender issues, to encourage women to take an active role in media, and to support national awareness and public action on development issues.

For more information please contact
Shahir A. Zahine 079341707 or email zahinesh@yahoo.com
Ricardo Grassi on 079 318 861 or email sic@ips.org
Project Partners

TKG (The Killid Group – www.thekillidgroup.com- note under construction) owns Radio Killid in Kabul and Radio Killid Herat and the two independent national Afghan weeklies – Killid and Mursal. Print distribution runs to 40 thousand copies and TKG's Nye Express is the only national company for the distribution of independent press.  

CIJ is an Afghan journalist training entity with a team of experienced Afghan journalists whose goals are to teach international journalism standards, ethics and practical skills. CIJ also defends professional journalists facing threats or harassment; writes and translates international journalism books for universities and media organizations; and offer professional courses for media officers. 

Sayara Media and Communication
(www.sayara-media.com) is an Afghan-French organisation helping to develop a new generation of journalists by supporting practical journalism training in the universities of Kabul, Khost, Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar, Bamyan and Herat. Under the Novice Journalism Training Program (NJTP) Sayara has developed radio production and broadcasting facilities, computing and Internet training centres, relationships with local and national radio stations and the national Youth Voice network.

Pajhwok Afghan News
is the independent Afghan daily news agency. Since its launch in July 2004 it has become the main news provider in the country, reaching almost all Afghan media, NGOs and the international community. Pajhwok stories are available in Dari, Pashto and English.

IPS News Agency's (www.ips.net) mission is to report with independence on civil society, globalisation, development and human rights. The news service reaches more than 500 print publications with an estimated readership of 200 million people. IPS stories are also used by 1,000 radio stations and read on IPS websites with more than two and a half million page views per month. In its contribution to help strengthen media in Afghanistan, in 2004 IPS entered into an agreement with Pajhwok Afghan News to broadcast special coverage of the country as it moved forward after the presidential elections. The stories could be found at a regularly updated special IPS site dedicated to the process.

This Project is supported by the European Commission

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