How do we feel about news? Do we report on facts in a black and white manner or do we look at the issues in terms of the glass being half full because the confidence of the public is so important in terms of reconstructing the country?
I don’t know the answer to that, but what I do know is this we talk about this very often, that we have a responsibility also to report on news, on positive news stories because in Afghanistan we do 17, 18 stories a day.
If we wanted to just do negative stories we’d probably have 25 stories. We would never run out of negative stories in the country. Someone is always getting killed. Someone is always getting assassinated. There is always fighting going on. There is always a corrupt government official, but also there are good things which happen in the country.
In Kabul, for example, we have five million inhabitants. Now even with violence only a very small percentage of the population is affected by violent acts whether they’re from terrorists or from criminal organizations. So it’s a little bit unfair to just concentrate on the negative stories. We do have to go with the big stories, but I think that there is also responsibility to show, to highlight some of the positive changes in the country like infant mortality has dropped significantly and that to us had to be a very positive story.
More women are alive today after childbirth. More kids are alive today than say 10 years ago. It’s an extraordinary change. I think the change is like 50%.
Now it’s not a sexy story. I think a typical reporter would sort of say “Do I have to do this story?” but I think it’s important to also highlight those sorts of stories.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.
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