Journalists’ Job Security in Afghanistan
27 Dec, 2014

Journalists’ perception of their job security at first glance appears rather positive, with the majority holding contracts they reported being satisfied with; having terms of termination clearly outlined; and receiving timely remuneration. There are, however, signs of abuse and potential for job and income instability. There is lack of clarity in contractual obligations and abusive practices including pressure exercised by an employer. The incapacity of employees to appeal or react to their employer’s pressure further places them in an unstable situation, with employees under threat of being fired if they do not abide by extra-contractual rules fixed by the employer.
Thirteen percent of the journalists interviewed do not hold a contract, and 28% of those who have contract stated that they were not satisfied with the terms of their contracts. 84% of the journalists interviewed said that arbitrary dismissal was not standard, while 16% of those holding contracts mentioned that the terms of termination in their contracts were not clearly outlined, and arbitrary dismissal was a common practice within the sector.
Gender, political affiliation, and ethnicity, appear to be primary factors affecting job security within the media sector. Interviewees characterized experience as only being a secondary factor. This is further compounded by the existence of nepotism and corrupt practices for recruitment and dismissal in an overall grim labor market situation for the media sector.
Journalists working for state-run media organizations seem to benefit from higher job security, with better-defined contractual terms and secured retirement pensions, as compared to journalists working for private media outlets.