FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): Sistan, a state-run monthly magazine founded 73 years ago in western Farah province has no readers and most of people are unfamiliar with its name.
The monthly, running under the framework of the Information and Culture department, publishes reports about local administration, poems and different types of articles.
According to Farah information and culture department, the cost of publishing and the magazine’s workers salaries reach nearly 46,000 afghanis a month.
Some of Farah residents say the magazine is inefficient.
Mohammad Younus, a culturist in Farah, told Pajhwok Afghan News that except a few government officers, no Farah residents including him had ever received a copy of the magazine.
“Ordinary people even those who study do not know whether a 73-year old magazine exists in the province,” he said.
He said that the magazine should not stay limited to government organs but printed in high numbers and reached a wide range of readers in Farah. The magazine should be changed into a daily or at least weekly, he added.
Shah Mohammad, a writer and a poet, held similar views and said, “It is the only printing media in Farah, but it has failed to attract readers in the society or at least the culturists of the province.”
He asked relevant government officials to bring required changes to the magazine so people would like to read it.
Sayed Abdullah Raufi, a local journalist in Farah, said that management of Sistan magazine had improved in the last few years but still it lacked interesting topics.
He said that Farah information and culture department was responsible to bring required changes to the magazine, increase its publishing and distribute it to people for its revival.
Benyamin Barez, Farah education and culture director, acknowledged problems in the magazine and said that the magazine was distributed only to government organs in the capital of the province. “The good thing about this magazine is that five Farah youths receive salaries,” he said.
About lack of improvements in the magazine, he said that the information and culture department’s budget was insufficient but the problem had been shared with the relevant ministry to build the capacity of the magazine’s workers and provide them with some fund for its improvement.
However, he said that despite the issue being several times referred to the ministry, no action was so far taken on the regard.
“The publication and content system of the magazine is created in a way which is not useful, because providing media services require resources, if the central administration builds the capacity of the magazine’s workers and provides required resources, it would help attract more readers,” he said.
Mahtab Mitra, chief editor of Sistan magazine, endorsed Benyamin’s statements and said, “Our media service is not on a good level as expected, because government media is limited based on the policy of the Ministry of Information and Culture.”
He said that the writing style of topics, design and lack of budget were the issues the magazine was faced with. However, Mitra said that they would still try to bring required improvements in the monthly.