PRCA backs call by media to protect journalists in Afghanistan

The PRCA is supporting a joint letter by three major US newspapers calling on the US government to protect journalists and free speech in Afghanistan.


The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post published a rare joint letter on the topic to the administration this week, following the Taliban’s seizure of power.

The letter states: “As employers, we are looking for support for our colleagues and as journalists, we’re looking for an unequivocal signal that the government will stand behind the free press. In that light, we ask the American government to move urgently and take three concrete steps necessary to protect their safety.”

The newspapers are calling for:

– Facilitated and protected access to the US-controlled airport

– Safe passage through a protected access gate to the airport

– Facilitated air movement out of the country.

PRCA director general Francis Ingham said: “The tragic events in Afghanistan have highlighted the frailty of the many values we hold dear, including freedom of speech.

“The global PR industry stands in solidarity with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post is calling for the protection of journalists and media freedoms in Afghanistan.

“Free speech is the bedrock of the ecosystem in which PR professionals and journalists operate. We must never take it for granted and will always support efforts to protect it.”

Reports emerged this week of intimidation of journalists in Afghanistan. On Thursday, German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle said that Taliban fighters hunting one of the outlet’s journalists have “shot dead a member of his family and seriously injured another”.

On Wednesday, The Guardian reported that British media organisations reiterated their calls for the UK government to evacuate Afghan journalists and translators who worked with UK media outlets, amid fears of Taliban reprisals.


Article from PR Week