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Private media in western Afghan province asked to observe accuracy

BBC Monitoring

Text of report by provincial state-owned Afghan Herat TV on 16 August

Providing information, broadcasting the public's views and thoughts and revealing the facts about current issues should serve national development, enlighten and improve people's awareness. This legal principle approved by the Constitution and the media law guarantees the values of democracy and freedom of thought and expression. Nevertheless, this freedom can only be interpreted and implemented under the rule of law. For this reason, any type of freedom should serve the country's national interests, benefit it and improve stability and national unity.

The council of ministers' resolution No 15 approved on 15 Saratan 1386 [6 July 2007] has observed the values of the media law and called on the private media to respect the country's major interests. The Information and Culture Ministry has been ordered to take serious measures against any acts violating national unity.

Taking advantage of freedom of expression, the reputation, identity and position of in! dividuals are sometimes damaged because freedom of expression is knowingly or unknowingly abused, or there is a lack of understanding or professionalism about the freedom of expression, national unity and public reputation. Such a trend contravenes the country's law on the media and will seriously damage the sacred profession of journalism, the reputation of the elected government and head of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

As a result, the Information and Culture Department calls on all private media in Herat to strictly avoid broadcasting programmes that run counter to national and Islamic values and to abstain from either reporting inappropriate, irrelevant criticism, propaganda and false reports in favour of strangers or of the culture of pessimism, discord and negativity. They should check the accuracy of their reports before publishing them. They should not rely on speculation and gossip and should not sacrifice accuracy for the sake of speed.

The Inf! ormation and Culture Department is fully ready to provide any type of cooperation and takes a leading role in terms of technical and professional affairs in order to improve the broadcasts and public awareness. The department believes that providing a peaceful environment and giving hope to the respectful nation should be the top priority of all journalists and any publication supporting the country's national interests.

Source: Herat TV in Dari 1630 gmt 16 Aug 07


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