Pajhwok Afghan News
by Danish Karokhel
|Motto||Reflecting the Truth|
Pajhwok Afghan News (Pashto: پژواک خبري اژانس) (Persian: آژانس خبرى پژواک) is a leading news agency in Afghanistan with headquarters in the city of Kabul. It has about eight regional bureaus and a counrywide network of reporters and correspondents, covering the entire 34 provinces of Afghanistan. It provides broad-based coverage of news in English, Pashto and Dari.
Owned and operated entirely by Afghans, Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) claims to have no political affiliations. Its founder and director is Danish Karokhel, with Farida Nekzad being the co-founder and deputy director. Pajhwok is a Pashto word meaning reflection or echo in both Pashto and Dari languages.
Pajhwok Afghan News agency originally began as a project in 2003, covering the 2003 loya jirga in Kabul, and gradually developed into a daily news source by mid-2004. During its first two years the agency was assisted by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, with initial funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) through the UN's International Organization for Migration. Head of the news agency, Danish Karokhel, expressed a desire to the Office of Transition Initiatives to be independent very early in its formation, which was approved and completed in July 2004 with the local management takeover of PAN in January 2005.
Pajhwok Afghan News (PAN) gradually became Afghanistan's largest independent news service by early 2009, The agency began providing continuous coverage across Afghanistan, with reporters or stringers in nearly every Afghan province. PAN is supported by Internews and the Open Society Institute. The agency seems to be running mainly on funds generated with subscription fees, advertisements and selling of news stories to other news agencies around the world.
PAN news agency has made a concerted effort to hire female reporters and editors in a bid to expand the range of women's voices in the Afghan media. Female Afghan journalists face particular challenges in a country where questioning authority is still rare.
- PAN's director, Danish Karokhel, won the 2008 CPJ International Press Freedom Award.
- PAN's co-founder and then-deputy director, Farida Nekzad, won the 2008 International Women's Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award.
- About us. Pajhwok Afghan News.
- "Unlikely Stories, or the Making of an Afghan News Agency". 19 November 2010. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Farida Nekzad". BBC Radio 4. 9 Dec 2008. Retrieved 2013-01-04. "Award winning female journalist and co-founder of Afghanistan’s first independent news agency"
- "Afghan turmoil". Thomson Reuters Foundation (Alert Net). 25 March 2009.
- "Lost in Translation: Telling Afghan Stories to the West". Pulitzer Center. 19 September 2010. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Danish Karokhel and Farida Nekzad, Director and Deputy Director, Pajhwok Afghan News". Committee to Protection of Journalists. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
- "Internews Afghanistan". Retrieved 4 July 2009.
- Gezari, Vanessa (January 23, 2011). "Afghan reporter tells her story". St. Petersburg Times (KABUL, Afghanistan). Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- "Farida Nekzad, Afghanistan". International Women's Media Foundation. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
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