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TOLO TV becomes popular among young Afghans

10-08-2012 21:53 BJT

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By CCTV correspondent Keith Crane

Afghan people’s lives have changed a lot since the downfall of the Taliban regime, and TV programs have become their new entertainment. TOLO (Tou Lou) TV, one of the country’s first commercial stations, is now the country’s most popular with its Westernised programs.

Launched in 2004, TOLO TV now has almost 50 percent of the country’s television market. It owns a news channel, TOLO news, an entertainment channel in the Persian dialect Dari, and a channel in Pushtu, Afghanistan’s native language.

As the most popular station, TOLO TV features interviews on its news channel. A wide range of guests from Olympic champions to renowned religious leaders have appeared.

As TOLO TV’s influence continues to rise, more important figures including senior government officials are willing to share their perspectives, despite the sometimes straightforward questions from the host and debates with other guests.

In Afghanistan, a TV station only broadcasting one religious program a week is hard to be accepted by the conservative media world. It denounces TOLO TV for broadcasting Turkish soap opera and entertainment shows instead of a religious program in prime time.

As a pioneer and an innovator, TOLO TV has drawn criticism from conservative audiences as well for its West-leaning point of view and unrestrained programs.

Massood Sanjer, head of broadcast of TOLO TV, said, "65 percent of the country is under 25 (years old). So if you gain trust of those people, then the conservative people will definitely get worried about their future, for example, how this nation will take them for the future, how the next generation will take the conservatives, will this new generation become conservative? I don’t think that."

In Afghanistan, Western culture is now getting an upper hand in competition with the traditional Islamic culture, especially through television.

Editor:Zhang Jianfeng |Source: CCTV.com

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