The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that promote free and independent media in Afghanistan. The government of Afghanistan is currently in ongoing peace talks with the Taliban, and it will be important to establish the media’s role in reporting on this process while protecting their safety. DRL’s goal is to promote an independent media, including citizen journalists, that can safely and freely report in Afghanistan, while also including women and youth in reporting. Programs should seek to ensure that journalists are able to operate and report on sensitive topics safely and independently under increasing threats of violence from outside groups. Desired outcomes of this program are an expanded space for independent media entities to report with transparency and objectivity, while maintaining independence, building sustainability, and reducing self-censorship, particularly on sensitive topics such as the Afghanistan Peace Talks, religious tolerance, gender, corruption, conflict, and governance. Target independent media entities will be those that promote human rights, gender equality, rule of law, democratic processes, and government accountability, and that empower women, religious minorities, sexual and gender minorities, and/or people with disabilities. Programming should also prioritize media entities that operate in more rural areas, and that include local language journalism to strengthen reporting to local communities.
Categories: Other (see text field entitled "Explanation of Other Category of Funding Activity" for clarification).