The Listening Post

Kabul bombings: The perils of being a journalist in Afghanistan

Ten journalists were killed in the deadliest attack on Afghanistan’s media since 2001. Plus, Winnie Mandela’s legacy.

On The Listening Post this week: Afghanistan suffers its deadliest day for journalists since the 2001 US invasion. Plus, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: Life and death in the media.

Afghanistan: 10 journalists killed in a single day

The Afghan journalists rushing to the site of an explosion this past week in Kabul were trying to cover the news.

They didn’t realise it was set up.

Amid the media scrum, a second suicide bomber, disguised as a news cameraman, detonated his device.

The attacks, claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, known as ISIS), left 29 people dead, including 10 journalists. They were a brutal reminder of the perils of being in the news business in Afghanistan.

Najib Sharifi, director, Afghan Journalists Safety Committee
Parwiz Shamal, head of news, TOLO News
Parwiz Kawa, editor-in-chief, Hasht e Subh Daily newspaper
Malali Bashir, journalist, Radio Azadi

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Meenakshi Ravi about Malaysia‘s anti-fake news law after a court there issued the first sentences. Also, a couple of weeks ago, the Listening Post spoke about the banning of the messaging app Telegram in Russia – now the same thing has happened in Iran.

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela: Life and death in the media

Last month, South Africa laid to rest one of its iconic anti-apartheid leaders, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

In the days after her death, many took exception to the way her obituaries read; how she was reduced to the former wife of a president, and how she was demonised.

Just days before her funeral, a documentary aired showing how the apartheid government, with the help of the white-owned news media, had smeared Madikizela-Mandela with the lies that made it into those obits. That documentary changed things.

Gugulethu Mhlungu, radio host and writer
Ra’eesa Pather, journalist, Mail & Guardian
Sisonke Msimang, author, Always Another Country
Anton Harber, media professor, Wits University
Sean Jacobs, associate professor, The New School