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Afghanistan: Fear is Constant Companion of Kabul Journalists

Afghan news media find it difficult getting access to their own top government officials, including President Hamid Karzai. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty)

No Afghan journalist died in direct connection with his or her professional duties in 2010 while reporting on the Islamic insurgency. On the surface, that is welcome news. But media advocates in Afghanistan say the statistic is also cause for concern.

Overall two reporters, both of them foreign, were killed while covering Afghan combat operations in 2010, according to a recent report prepared by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). The decrease in journalist casualties in comparison with recent years was not the result of enhanced security measures for combat reporters, but was a byproduct of heightened cautiousness. “While the war intensified, the number of combat-related media deaths did not rise in proportion, a reflection of cautious coverage tactics,” the CPJ report stated.

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Aunohita Mojumdar is an Indian freelance journalist based in Kabul.

Afghanistan: Fear is Constant Companion of Kabul Journalists

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