Wan-Ifra appeal to help Afghan journalists

Afghan journalist appeal

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Photo Dawn via Internet | Wan-Ifra
Photo Dawn via Internet

Wan-Ifra appeals to the international community of news publishers willing to help secure meaningful work for the hundreds, likely thousands, of displaced journalists and media workers forced into exile by the dramatic resurgence of the Taliban.

The world has watched in shock and growing disbelief at the rapidity of events over the past two weeks. Many Wan-Ifra’s members have been in touch to ask how they can support colleagues and contribute to the ongoing, desperate efforts to evacuate journalists and their families.

Until now, all efforts have concentrated on extracting the maximum number of journalists before the deadline set by the US military of 31st August, beyond which they will no longer provide security for those looking to leave from the airport in Kabul. However, attention is already shifting to those left behind. Our community has a crucial role in the weeks and months to come when attention turns from emergency evacuation to finding host countries for those forced to flee. Especially when it comes to securing meaningful work for the hundreds, likely thousands, of displaced journalists forced into exile by the dramatic resurgence of the Taliban.

For those in a position to help even just one journalist, Wan-Ifra can support them in making that happen. We commit to coordinating with our many partners in the journalist support community to match the offers of assistance with those in need. News organisations that can employ Afghan journalists or media workers, host their families, and contribute to their resettlement, can  COMPLETE THIS FORM to give us a clearer picture of what they may offer.

Current needs

At this stage, the focus is on getting people out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible to safe, albeit temporary, bases. Very soon, however, attention will shift to where these individuals and their families will move on to long-term resettlement, which countries will open their doors, and how quickly they can secure safe passage.

Wan-Ifra works with organisations across the safety of journalists and media development fields with specific expertise and mandates to undertake the arduous task of identifying, vetting and clearing journalists to board the few remaining flights out of the country. Many of these organisations have offices in Afghanistan and local staff who have also been caught up in this terrible situation.

The Journalists In Distress Group (notably CPJ, the Rory Peck TrustFree Press Unlimited) have been doing an immense job of compiling lists and identifying those in need and securing flights out of Kabul; the international Safety of Journalists coalition, the ministerial-level Media Freedom Coalition, and the ACOS Alliance have, in turn, been playing their role. Wan-Ifra is an active member of all of these networks.

Host journalists in your newsroom

Conducting meaningful work and continuing to exercise skills and professional capacities are a vital part of navigating the incredible upheaval of a life of exile. If you can offer Afghan colleagues the chance to continue working as journalists, then Wan-Ifra will connect you to those looking for a new place to call home.

Contribute funds to support journalists and their families

We appreciate that not every newsroom is in the position to consider adding Afghan colleagues to their ranks. Instead, we would ask you to consider making a donation to a dedicated Afghan Media Support Fund that Wan-Ifra is administering, for use exclusively in assisting Afghan colleagues.

This is where the Wan-Ifra community can be most effective. Therefore, we invite media professionals who wish to support this initiative to consider their internal capacities, assess what they may offer, and get in touch to discuss the details.

If you think you can help, read the full text of Wan-Ifra’s Afghan Journalist Appeal and complete or share this form to give us a clearer picture of the support we can receive.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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