A new vocational institute located in Afghanistan has been launched, to provide professional standard studies for aspiring radio, television and online broadcasters and journalists. Nai Media Institute (NMI) will offer, at its Kabul Campus, a two year Diploma in Media Course from 2012, as well as specialist short courses in media, with the help of Australian company AMT Pty Ltd. “As foreign troops pull out of Afghanistan, media will play an important part in the reconstruction of the country,” says AMT CEO Steve Ahern.
From the 1960s, radio and television belonged to the Afghan government, who had a monopoly on broadcasting. In the years of Taliban rule, many radio stations were shut down and those that did operate were not allowed to play any music. After the election of Hamid Karzai as President of the Afghan interim government, new media laws were introduced where radio and television stations could be privately owned, now giving the Afghan media an opportunity to flourish.
Radio is particularly important in Afghanistan, as about 70% of the population are illiterate, ruling out print media as a possible source of current information. As the country goes into an election next year most people will get their information on how to vote from radio.
NMI is a training business established by Nai, an NGO which has played an important role in educating journalists and advocating for media development in Afghanistan since 2005. It works to build up the technical, legal and financial capacities of the Afghan media, and is supported by funding from Internews.
Nai has a large alumni of graduates who are working in most areas of the media in Afghanistan. Students in the Diploma in Media course will connect with these alumni while undergoing the course.
The curriculum advisory board for the two year Diploma in Media consists of members of Afghan broadcast companies, and the curriculum has been developed to international standard by the Australian company Ahern Media & Training Pty Ltd. Steve Ahern (co-owner of this website) is currently in Kabul training staff to implement the curriculum next year.
Applications for the Diploma of Media open on the 16th January 2012 with classes commencing in March 2012. See www.nmi.edu.af
NMI is registered with the Afghan Ministry of Information and Culture, in collaboration with the Education and Higher Education Ministries. It is based in Kabul, with agencies in Herat, Qandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar E Sharif.
The importance of electronic media is symbolised by the central location of ‘transmitter hill’ in the middle of Kabul, with the national flag flying amidst the radio and tv transmitters.