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As the world watched the Taliban’s re-ascension to power in Afghanistan in August 2021, the picture painted in the news media was of a curtain closing after 20 years of foreign engagement there. And there is no doubt that life for most Afghans in terms of human rights, the economy, and political freedom changed dramatically and often traumatically, particularly in the context of Afghan women. But, as we’ve often seen in our extensive experience working in these contexts, life goes on, and people are remarkably resilient.

Regardless of the circumstances and difficulties a society faces, a functioning media is crucially important to the health and well-being of that society. Broadcast media in Afghanistan, just as it is elsewhere, needs audience data to survive. The local businesses finding a way forward in these uncertain times need to plan their ad campaigns. The NGOs still remaining in the country are under more pressure than ever to make an impact with dwindling resources, making the most of every cent of the communication budget.  And the Afghan people did not just switch off their TVs and radios in August 2021 and resign themselves to totalitarian media darkness – they have content needs they are finding ways to fulfill.

GeoPoll’s Afghanistan Media Audience Landscape Survey marks a pioneering effort in media establishment research post-Kabul’s fall. Conducted between December 2023 and January 2024, this survey leverages Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews (CATI) to engage 2,000 individuals, capturing a comprehensive view of the current media consumption landscape. Among others, this research covers:

  • Television and radio audiences nationwide, profiling and sizing viewership and listenership for both local and international broadcasters.
  • Insights into internet usage and social media engagement patterns.
  • Top educational media content sources.
  • Top news sources.

Update: We hosted a webinar with the results. Watch the recording and download the presentation deck.

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To dive deeper into the findings and their implications for media planning, advertising strategies, and content delivery in Afghanistan, please contact Matt Angus-Hammond, Media Audience Measurement Director at GeoPoll.