"House of Reporters" comes into being in Balkh
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Several groups of media reporters have been merged into a single functionality called "House of Reporters" to better coordinate their efforts at access to information and resolving problems being faced by the community in northern Balkh province.
The house, the first of its kind in the province, came into being after different journalist associations agreed to stand united in their efforts to support the rights of local reporters, the journalists say.
"We elected a seven-member committee through a ballot among 50 journalists in Mazar-i-Sharif city. The body, representing all the associations, is named as the House of Reporters," the committee chairman, Samiullah Ghokhtun, also a reporter with the Radio Liberty, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
"Reporters face several problems when they investigate about an incident," he said, citing a recent attack on an office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) by protesters in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Ten UN workers and five protestors were killed in the attack by an angry mob protesting against the Quran burning incident in the US.
"Reporters faced a lot of problems while trying to get information about details of the attack," Ghokhtun, said.
"The UN office has been closed since the attack on April 1. Journalists want answers to their questions regarding the office reopening and the outcome of an investigation by a delegation from Kabul," Ghokhtun said.
A member of the committee, Latif Sahak, who works as reporter with a private TV channel, Shamshad, said security personnel refused to give him information after a border policeman shot dead two American soldiers two weeks ago in Faryab province.
"We waited for eight hours until a press release was issued by the International Security Assistance Force about the incident, but local security officials did not reply to our calls," he said.
"Reporters can hardly manage to find access to ISAF forces for comments over an incident. So they use to talk first with local officials as they are responsibly to provide journalists information," he said.
"Now we have established an independent association under the name of house of reporters to put pressure on the government to solve problems of reporters," he said.
Provincial information and culture director, Saleh Mohammad Khaleeq, said they would support the house of reporters association and was ready to provide any kind of assistance in their authority. "Such association of journalists was needed in Balkh, the official said.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.