Media plays a key role in promoting good governance in Afghanistan
Three experts and 90 journalists, civil society activists, representative of the government and academics discussed media’s role in promoting Good Governance in Afghanistan in Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh.
The participants agreed that media plays an important role in pushing the government to become more transparent and accountable.
The Social Association of Journalists in North Afghanistan (SAJNA) together with the Afghan-German Cooperation organized the event in Mazar-e Sharif – the 11th of its kind.
Head of the Culture Information Department of Balkh, Saleh Mohammad Khaliq, highlighted the media’s influence in shaping society’s perception of the Afghan government’s performance.
“The media plays a vital role in shaping public ideas and opinions.” He added that media can give a voice to the people – which allows them to publicly express their concerns.
Senior Advisor in the German program for the Promotion of Good Governance in Afghanistan (RCD) said media was responsible to convey the government’s message to the public as well.
“Freedom of speech and freedom of media is one of the most highly valued assets, however, with freedom comes responsibility. Thus, media shall not only deliver the voice of the people to the government; it must also make sure that it conveys the government’s messages to the Afghan people.” In his opinion, media’s fulfillment of this double task is crucial to promote transparency and accountability of the government – two crucial pillars for Good Governance.
In this context, Khaliq pointed out that the government is also required to accept questions from journalists and to answer them: “It’s the journalists’ right to get a response from government authorities when they ask for information that is relevant for society. The government should take the chance to respond to journalists’ questions, because it increases accountability and thus Good Governance.”
Professor at the Journalism Department of Balkh University Hamid Safwat added the topic of ethics in journalism to the debate: “Media should be unbiased and journalists should always consider human dignity, public and national interests as well as the cultural setup of this country.”
In response to whether good governance existed in Afghanistan, Haake said: “Good governance is not a state that is achieved once and forever. Good governance is an attitude and a way of governing – it is a goal that all have to struggle for.” ”
“Media Meetings 2016 – Afghan media for Social Responsibility” are a series of regular events held by the Afghan-German cooperation and SAJNA. The meetings bring together experts from the public sector, civil society, development organizations and the media to discuss important development issues.
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