Taliban Tells Afghan TV Stations To Stop Airing Shows With Women Actors

File photo: Taliban fighters stand guard near the venue of an open-air rally in a field on the outskirts of Kabul on October 3, 2021. Hoshang Hashimi / AFP


Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities on Sunday issued a new ”religious guideline” that called on the country’s television channels to stop showing dramas and soap operas featuring women actors.

In the first such directive to Afghan media issued by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Taliban also called on women television journalists to wear Islamic hijabs while presenting their reports.

And the ministry asked the channels not to air films or programmes in which the Prophet Mohammed or other revered figures are shown.

It called for banning films or programmes that were against Islamic and Afghan values.

”These are not rules but a religious guideline’,” ministry spokesman Hakif Mohajir told AFP.

The new directive was widely circulated late Sunday on social media networks.

READ ALSO: Syria Explosive Remnants Kill 19 Persons In November

File photo: Taliban fighters stand guard on the backdrop of shops selling antiques and decorative merchandise at Chicken Street in Kabul on September 26, 2021.  WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP


Despite insisting they will rule more moderately this time around, the Taliban have already introduced rules for what women can wear at university, and beaten and harassed several Afghan journalists despite promising to uphold press freedoms.

The Taliban’s guideline for TV networks comes after two decades of explosive growth for independent Afghan media under the Western-backed governments that ruled the country until August 15, when the Islamists regained power.

Dozens of television channels and radio stations were set up with Western assistance and private investment soon after the Taliban were toppled in 2001.

During the past 20 years, Afghan television channels offered a wide range of programmes — from an ”American Idol” style singing competition to music videos, along with several Turkish and Indian soap operas.

When the Islamists previously ruled from 1996 to 2001, there was no Afghan media to speak of — they banned television, movies, and most other forms of entertainment, deeming it immoral.

People caught watching television faced punishment, including having their set smashed. Ownership of a video player could lead to public lashing.

There was only one radio station, Voice of Sharia, that broadcasts propaganda and Islamic programming.


Broadcasters Face Screen Test In COVID-19 Age

A TV camera operator is seen in the empty tribune ahead of the German first division Bundesliga football match VfL Wolfsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt on May 30, 2020 in Wolfsburg, western Germany. Swen Pförtner / POOL / AFP.


Sport has been forced behind closed doors for the foreseeable future but experts are divided over whether broadcasters will suffer or prosper in the new landscape.

Some believe television rights will either stagnate or decline in value, others think they will be driven up due to increased interest from tech companies such as Google and Amazon.

The sums in play are enormous. American broadcaster NBC’s current deal to cover the Olympics until 2032 is worth $7.75 billion.

The English Premier League’s most recent overseas TV rights package for 2019-22 rose a reported 35 percent in value to £4.2 billion ($5.25 billion) despite a fall in the value of the domestic rights.

European Broadcasting Union executive director of sport Stefan Kuerten is unconvinced that rights deals will continue to soar despite potentially millions being added to viewing figures.

The 61-year-old will on Friday step away after almost 20 years of negotiating global and European rights for events such as World Cups and Olympics on behalf of public service broadcasters.

“They (TV) will be in a strong position but will price go up because of it? There I have doubts,” he told AFP by phone from Switzerland.

He believes the virus will have an impact on the industry.

READ ALSO: Armenia Hospitals Overwhelmed As COVID-19 Cases Surge

“Broadcasters have learned now these kinds of pandemics exist and could ask for new exit and security clauses in contracts like a force majeure (unexpected event) or unforeseeable event.

“The virus has placed a safety belt on sports broadcasters as to whether they increase the payment in case something else happens.”

– Atmosphere –

Kuerten warns that viewers will tire of watching events without crowds, even if they can watch sport from the comfort of their armchairs.

“Without any fans in the stadium, TV is not sustainable for football or other sports,” he said. “When the crowd reacts, then emotions spill over into the screen.

“If one of these elements is missing then there are different sensations and viewers hesitate to have the same interest in the product as before.

“I have to say from my experience following matches (in the Bundesliga, taking place behind closed doors), something is missing.”

British advertising tycoon Martin Sorrell, who founded advertising giant WPP, is more bullish, though he admits the waters are choppy.

“There are not exactly positives to come out of this (coronavirus) but demand will see live sport at a premium and may see more distant viewers/fans tuning in and watching,” he said.

“The rights will continue to increase driven by the incursion of digital media players, platforms and hardware companies.”

– ‘The COVID pause’ –

Sorrell, who sits on the International Olympic Committee’s Communications Commission, says it is clear that “public thirst for live sport, for watching it, has increased”.

The 75-year-old Englishman, who left WPP in 2018 and set up digital advertising and marketing services company S4 Capital, says the public have adapted to the online world.

“COVID-19 has had influence, with huge amounts of people unable to go to the shops due to lockdown shopping online, communicating online,” he said.

“As media becomes increasingly more digital and less analogue, that moves it more online so potential audiences move online.”

Terrence Burns, who since leaving his marketing executive role at the IOC has played a key role in five victorious Olympic bid campaigns, believes sponsors and advertisers who partner with broadcasters will be more selective.

“I think the ‘COVID pause’ will lead to what I call the ‘great value realignment’ in sport,” he said.

“Obviously, brands (sponsors and advertisers) will come back to sport — it is the most emotive marketing strategy on the planet and most efficient.

“The question is what are they coming back to?

“Brands will be necessarily more demanding in terms of expenditure and value — they will be ‘pickier’ about what sports (competitions and events) they invest in.

“This means that smaller and or marginal sports may indeed suffer in the short term, but I also think this will force federations to find and create niches for the right brands.”


Pakistan Bans ‘Bed Scenes’ And ‘Intimate Moments’ From TV

Pakistan on the map. Credit: Google Map


Pakistani television channels may no longer show “intimate moments between couples” or “bed scenes”, the conservative country’s media regulator has announced, complaining of too much feminist content and warning that such “bold themes” offend viewers.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued its warning on Tuesday, calling on channels to respect the country’s existing media guidelines and refrain from airing content that does not depict a “picture of true Pakistani society”.

“The prevalent rampant trend of airing quite bold themes in Pakistani drama industry has resulted in massive public complaints,” PEMRA said in an English-language statement.

“Indecent scenes/dialogues/extramarital relations, violence, inappropriate dressing, rape scenes, caressing, bed scenes, use of drugs and alcohol, intimate moments between couples are being glamourized in utter disregard to Pakistani culture and values,” it continued.

Pakistani dramas and soap operas, many of which seek to challenge the deeply patriarchal country’s conservative taboos, are immensely popular, according to data from PEMRA and Gallup Pakistan.

Many revolve around plotlines portraying social issues such as domestic violence, child abuse, misogyny and women. Activists have previously hailed some as potentially powerful vehicles for grassroots change.

Last year, a soap opera dramatising the life of social media star Qandeel Baloch — infamous for her provocative selfies, until her shocking murder by her brother in 2016 — topped the charts.

Other shows highlighting the issues of so-called “honour” killings and forced marriages were also hit, despite being targeted by a wave of vitriol on social media, with people accusing the channels of spreading vulgarity and destroying social values.

In its statement, PEMRA said such dramas “depict the hackneyed image of women and have confined themselves to feminist issues only… ignoring children, teenagers and men”.


PeaceTech Lab Welcomes Channels TV Boss, John Momoh As First International Board Member

John MomohPeaceTech Lab has taken another step towards securing its position as an international leader in the use of technology, media, and data to accelerate local peacebuilding efforts with the addition of the Chairman/CEO of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh, as its newest board member.

“John Momoh has long served as a distinguished voice of Nigeria, with a career spanning 37 years of broadcast media and journalism and numerous accolades reflecting both his journalistic expertise and integrity,” stated Chairman of the Board and former IBM Executive, Nicholas M. Donofrio.

“We are thrilled John has agreed to join the PeaceTech Lab Board and add his voice to the growing PeaceTech movement.”

Board Member and former Undersecretary of State Tara Sonenshine agreed, “The inextricable link between media and conflict is that information is the oxygen with which a civil society breathes. We must have media experts working to ensure that civil society exists and remains free of conflict. It’s wonderful to welcome John to our Board.”

John Momoh is founder and CEO of the Channels Media Group, which operates Channels TV, Nigeria’s leading independent news and information network.

Prior to founding Channels TV in 1995, Mr. Momoh worked variously as a news anchor, senior reporter and senior producer for the Nigerian Television

He is a graduate of the University of Lagos with a Master’s degree in International Law and Diplomacy and a B.Sc (with honours) in Mass Communication.

PeaceTech Lab, John Momoh

In August 2016, Mr. Momoh was named Chairman of the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria, Nigeria’s premier media association, comprising a broad coalition of some 250 public and private radio and TV stations. He is the first private-sector media executive to hold the position.

PeaceTech Lab CEO and President, Sheldon Himelfarb, highlighted the significance of the Lab’s first international board member: “John Momoh brings the perspective of someone quite literally on the frontlines of conflict, who has been innovative in the use of media to increase accountability and foster positive change over the course of his career.”

Critical Need

Mr. Momoh expressed his appreciation, saying, “PeaceTech Lab fills a timely, critical need in efforts to combat violence and extremism around the world by leveraging people, tools, and an understanding of how technology, media, and data can reinforce peacebuilding efforts from the ground up.

“Channels TV is committed to expanding the use of data and technology to better support our journalists in the field, and I am proud to be working together to make that vision a reality.”

In March, PeaceTech Lab and ChannelsTV signed an agreement to develop the first independent Hausa-language news service aimed at strengthening the information environment in Nigeria’s northern Hausa and Fulani regions, where intensified terrorist activity carried out by Boko Haram extremists threatens Nigeria’s political and economic stability.

Ranked as the deadliest terrorist organization in the world by the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram has contributed to a 300% increase in Nigerian deaths related to terrorism since 2014.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and largest economy according to the 2015 IMF World Economic Outlook report.

About Channels Television

Called “a network built on trust” by Financial Times, Channels is one of the leading private-sector media outlets on the African continent and has been groundbreaking in the Nigerian media space with many notable firsts including: winning the Best TV Station of the Year a record 10 times, first to stream its news and programmes live on the internet, first to interface with followers via Twitter and first to create mobile apps on various platforms.

About PeaceTech Lab

PeaceTech Lab works for individuals and communities affected by conflict, using technology, media, and data to accelerate local peacebuilding efforts.

An independent non-profit organization, the Lab’s mission is to amplify the power of peacetech to save lives through earlier warnings and smarter responses to violence.

The Lab’s programmes emphasize a data-driven, cross-sector approach, engaging everyone from student engineers and citizen journalists to Fortune 500 companies in scaling the impact of peacetech.

OPINION: Impact Of Social Media On Nigerian Journalism

Journalism is the activity or profession of writing for newspapers or magazines or of broadcasting news on radio or television while Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, exchange and comment on contents among themselves in virtual communities and networks.

The impact of social media in the communication system cannot be overemphasized as traditional media has undoubtedly taken an onward progressive turn in achieving its core assignments of educating, informing and entertaining its audience; the Nigerian populace.

The consistent and goal-driven use of social media has filled the interactive and investigative vacuum found in the traditional media in Nigeria and the entire world. Hitherto this new age of journalism, reporters were only able to practice the time-sensitive profession within a certain constrained environment which permitted the Nigerian journalist to find facts from physically available sources.

Today, the Nigerian journalist can boast of new skills in news gathering and better accuracy in reporting the opinion of the people. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google + have been used to monitor trends and gather intelligence in regards to the opinion of the masses.

Take for instance events which have garnered much attention as a result of activities on social media. Thousands of Nigerians joined Twitter during and after the subsidy protest (OccupyNigeria) of 2012,  the death of four UNIPORT students (ALUU4) caused a nationwide outcry against ‘jungle justice,’ the video of a policeman caught extorting a motorist went viral online and has now found its way into TV and radio.

These events were either instigated or projected online as a result of the use of social media platforms by those who witnessed and shared the details.

The ability of the social media to breed interactivity has caused the audience to exit its passive shell and enter into a new sphere of activity. This has helped in a number of other sectors in the economy; most especially politics and education. Worthy of note is the fact that social media has helped traditional media to gain its lost audience (youths).

With the rise in social media usage, Nigerian youths, who scarcely subscribed to the print media, have now cultivated a healthy habit of keeping abreast of events in the country.

Social media has impacted Nigerian journalism in the area of reporting as new features i-reports which allows individuals report events in real time in any case where an official correspondent is not on ground.

The integration of social media in news gathering and delivery has also enabled the Nigerian journalist to work in a capacity that totally erases the restrictions of distance. Today, interviews are conducted via email correspondence, Twitter conversations, Skype video chats etc.

Breaking News! This feature has been redefined since the advent of social media in Nigerian journalism. Journalists can now break news as they happen with supporting files such as pictures taken and posted alongside headlines.

Live broadcasts have been made possible online via web streaming. In most cases, the audience is able to participate and give feedback via the comments section which allows the reporter access to instant feedback.

The World Wide Web evolves daily; so does the social media. This means traditional media will yet experience even more changes and growth in times to come.

Written by Mayowa Ogundele, an online journalist with Channels Television, creative writer and aspiring broadcaster. Follow her via Twitter @Ohluwamayowa and Google+, Mayowa Ogundele.

Edo Election process was Abused – Kassim Afegbua

The head of media Oshiomhole campaign organization for the recently concluded Edo state governorship election, Kassim Afegbua said that the ACN and the Oshiomhole campaign group had raised alarm over the plan nurtured by opposition parties to rig the upcoming election and the processes leading to the election was not going the way it was supposed to.

He said there was need for the alarm that was raised by the incumbent governor because a village 2 hours away from the central city had gotten voting materials as early as 8:30am with accreditation beginning immediately while at around 10:30am same morning Oredo and Benin City in the centre of the city had not gotten voting materials and does were the places that had large population in terms electorate with an estimated population of 250,000.

Kaduna govt relaxes 24-hour curfew

The Kaduna State Government on Tuesday relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state following the return of peace and order in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued and signed by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Rueben Buhari.

The Kaduna State governor, Patrick Yakowa

According to the statement, the curfew will now take effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the four metropolitan local government areas.
The areas are: Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Igabi and Chikun Local Government Areas.

The State Government said that the curfew in the 19 other Local Government Areas would start from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.

“In view of the improved peaceful coexistence witnessed in Kaduna, the State Security Council has further relaxed the curfew hours.

“Government commends the entire people of Kaduna State over the return of normalcy and urged them to continue to be law abiding,’’ it stated.

The 24-hour curfew was imposed on the state following June 17 attacks on three churches in Zaria and Kaduna.

Although the curfew was relaxed on June 19, it was reinstated following the eruption of fresh violence in the metropolis.

Samsung shifts to new TV technology with LCD spin off

South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s biggest maker of televisions, is shifting its focus towards new generation OLED display technology, and said it will spin off its loss-making LCD flat-screen business into an affiliate.
The outlook for liquid crystal display TVs has dimmed as shoppers in developed markets have traded in their bulky cathode-ray tube TVs for flat screens, and competition has intensified from low-cost Chinese manufacturers.
Annual global sales of LCD TVs will contract by 8 percent to $92 billion by 2015, flat panel industry research company DisplaySearch has forecast, while the OLED display market could top $20 billion by 2018, accounting for 16 percent of the total display industry, up from a current 4 percent.
Japans’ Sony Corp agreed to exit its LCD joint venture with Samsung in December, while Sharp Corp said it would halve LCD output for January-March at a plant in western Japan.
Together, Panasonic, Sony and Sharp expect to lose $17 billion this year, highlighting the savaging of Japan’s electronics industry, and TV makers in particular, by foreign rivals such as Samsung, weak demand and a strong yen.
Samsung’s LCD division made an operating loss of 750 billion won ($666 million) last year.
With TVs becoming smart – linked to other devices like tablets and smartphones – an inability to win in the TV market risks hobbling sales across the Japanese groups’ wider consumer electronics line-ups.
Provisionally named Samsung Display Co Ltd, the spun-off LCD unit will officially be launched as a new business on April 1, with 750 billion won in capital, Samsung said.
Samsung and others such as rival LG Display Co are shifting to newer organic light-emitting diode (OLED) flat-screen display currently used mainly in high-end smartphones, reckoning this technology will replace LCD in larger-sized panels such as TV screens.
Samsung Electronics said earlier this month it was considering fully taking over Samsung Mobile Display (SMD), its OLED joint venture with its Samsung SDI subsidiary.
SMD is a near monopolistic supplier of OLED displays, which are thinner, more power-efficient and boast better clarity and color contrast than LCD screens.
There has been speculation Samsung could drop a full acquisition of SMD, which may cost 1.6-2.0 trillion won, and instead transfer its LCD business to the OLED maker and receive a significant number of new SMD shares.
In a statement on Monday, the company said it aimed to be more competitive in a rapidly changing market with the new technology and a more streamlined decision-making process.
Shares in Samsung Electronics last traded down 0.1 percent at 1.174 million won ($1,000), after earlier touching an intra-day life high of 1.194 million won.
($1 = 1125.5500 Korean won) ($1 = 1125.5500 Korean won)