January 31, 2023
Washington- Afghan journalists-in-exile today announced the launch of Farsi Times, a monthly Persian, English magazine in Washington, D.C. for the Persian-speaking diaspora in North America.
Talking about the launch, editor-in-chief Naqib Arwin said, “We're really excited about the Farsi Times launch, the target is the Afghan and Iranian communities in the US and Canada.” “I think it's a good step when the Persian-speaking diaspora gets a magazine at home and they can read in Farsi. They will be very happy because they are not used to seeing on-the-ground stories from Afghanistan, and Iran in the Farsi language anywhere here. They miss it.”
Depending on the revenue generated by its advertisers to stay in business, the first 28-page edition will be distributed among the target communities and business people in US and Canada. Eventually, all the content will be available online soon, Arwin added
Former managing director of Radio Nowruz in Herat, owned by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS), Naqib Arwin fled Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in order to avoid persecution and carry on his profession.
Afghan diaspora journalists and digital media play an important role as stakeholders in their war-ridden homeland media landscapes. In 2022, several media outlets among them Amu TV, and Zicht TV, Chashm News agency were launched by the exiled Afghan journalists in the US and the EU to continue to run their news operations in exile.
Since the Taliban took over in August 2021, press freedom deteriorated in Afghanistan and media freedom, which had been acquired over the past two decades is rapidly fading. The de facto authorities have issued numerous restriction directives which have opened the way to censorship and persecution, and largely deprived journalists of their independence. Female journalists are largely banned from state-run media outlets, and those in the private sector can appear on TV only if their faces are covered.
Afghanistan Journalists Center stated in a report published in late December 2022 that over half of 600 media outlets, including radio and television, print and online, operating in Afghanistan, have ceased operations and more than 60% of journalists and media employees have not been able to work after the takeover. Meanwhile, AFJC recorded a total of 260 media freedom violations attributable to de facto authorities including threats, detentions, and violent confrontations in 2022.