USAID / TAFA
Journalists from across Afghanistan attend a USAID workshop on economic reporting
Maryam Ghamgosar, a journalist from Mazar-i Sharif in northern Afghanistan, is increasingly focused on writing about the economic opportunities opening up in her country. It wasn’t always this way. “I wasn’t able to write articles on economics, trade agreements, or contracts that Afghanistan signed with international companies for its mineral resources,” she says.
All of that changed when Maryam joined a group of 30 journalists from across Afghanistan to learn about economic reporting. The week-long workshop, supported by USAID and organized by a non-governmental organization called Mediothek-Afghanistan, taught the journalists how to write about economic subjects in an accessible, jargon-free way. The training was part of USAID’s continuing efforts to educate local journalists as well as Afghanistan’s private and public sectors on recent trade deals. The journalists learnt about the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, the South Asian Free Trade Area agreement and Afghanistan’s efforts to join the 155-member World Trade Organization (WTO), possibly by 2014. As Afghanistan seeks to take its rightful place in the global economy, it is increasingly important to inform ordinary Afghans about the opportunities for growth.
“Before, I thought WTO was an agreement only applicable to the Western world, but now, I realize the WTO can solve trade problems that Afghanistan has with neighboring countries,” said Mohibullah Yar, a journalist from Jalalabad.
The workshop enabled journalists like Yar to understand that trade agreements and membership of multi-lateral trade organizations such as the WTO have the power to change Afghanistan’s future.
“We are determined to have more economics news in our media,” said Zarghona Hassan, who owns a radio station. “This will encourage more foreign investment in Afghanistan.”
Turning Trade into Front Page News