TOLO News – Inside An Afghan Newsroom

Journalist and head of Afghan news channel TOLO, Lotfullah Najafizada talked about covering news in a world of where terrorism targets newsrooms.

Jaipur, 10 August, 2018— Afghanistan is featured in the news, whenever there are incidents of violence and death. And, this also impacts the newsrooms within Afghanistan. Often reporters have to cover stories after a violent attack, that has left their colleagues dead.

“Let us imagine a scene in Afghanistan, where the reporter has to report on an incident on the eclipse of the Taliban. What happens to them”, said Prerna Sahani, News Editor Dainik Bhaskar,  talking about the suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan that killed 7 journalists and 17 were terribly injured from TOLO news room.

“On 20 Jan 2016, it was terrible attack, we lost friends from the private news room.’ said Lotfullah. The TOLO news channel has won the AFP Kate Webb prize winner in 2016 for its reportage from one of the most dangerous countries in the world.  awarded to emerging talent from the world.  

He added that there is tremendous pressure on him and his family, because of his profession. He has to constantly try to convince his mother that it is safe, while he sleeps in the compound of his office.

Lotfullah said that violence is caused by a fight over money and power, unemployment, and poverty. He believes that Delhi-Kabul-Islamabad should look at ‘breaking borders’ and fight terror together. Lotfullah added that he tells his journalists to look for more positive news, because people in Afghanistan are tired of reading about violence and terror. And, he is hopeful that stories of progress such as women entrepreneurs in a café in Kabul, can help bring more positive news to Afghanistan.

Text: Vaishnavi Gaharwar | Copy edit: Vaishnavi  Gaharwar | Photo: Vaishnavi Gaharwar | Photo desk: Anu Sonia |Editorial coordination: Jyoti Mamnani 

This report was filed during Live Newsroom workshop conducted by Institute of Integrated Digital Journalism and Mass Communication (IIDJM) at Talk Journalism 2018.