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Discussion on High Electricity Cost of Local Media

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25 July 2017
Monthly media meetings,
Community and media center Balkh (Maulana Peace House) organized its monthly media meeting on 24 July to discuss sky high electricity bills of local media institutions in Balkh.
Seventeen media activists, journalists, reporters and local media representatives came together to discuss high electricity cost of local media organization in a time that most local media (print and digital) face serious financial constraints.  
Some media organizations in Balkh have been forced to shut down their doors due to financial challenges especially high electricity costs.
Several TV channels such as Safeer, Afa, Asya, Mehraban, Helah, Aye, and several radio stations such as Mah, Omid-e-Javan, Shaher and such other media organizations have shut their doors in recent years because of financial challenges they faced.
Most of the media organizations active in Balkh are non-profit but they pay 16-20 Afghani for every KW of electricity and most of media organizations are not in a position to pay such high electricity bill.
Chief-in-editor of Rabia Balkhi Radio says that her radio electricity cost in a reporting period of two months reaches as high as 80000 to 90000 Afghanis or roughly 1400 US dollars.
Similarly, administrative head of the provincial national radio and TV channel says that even though their institution does not pay directly to the electricity department, but their organization is indebted to the electricity department millions of Afghanis.
Participants at the conclusion of the event signed a request letter to be sent the provincial government for further measures on reducing local media electricity bills. The reduction of electricity would bean supporting the freedom of speech and development of free media, while the high costs would only push more media organizations to close their doors.