Carleton post allows Afghan journalist to continue her advocacy for journalists in Afghanistan

Journalist-in-Residence Farida Nekzad is continuing with presentations to classes at Carleton about her experiences as a leading advocate for women journalists in Afghanistan. And in the months ahead, Nekzad will be undertaking more speaking engagements and outreach work in the community at large.

“Currently there is a violence, a human crisis (in Afghanistan) and none of the media bring this issue or investigate it,” Nekzad says.

Nekzad took up her Journalist-in-Residence post in the School of Journalism and Communication on Dec. 1 with the support of the Faculty of Public Affairs, the university’s President and Provost, the Scholars-at-Risk committee  and the journalism program itself.

“I hope we should have this opportunity to start research about the issues, to find the roots of the problem and find the ways how we can help Afghanistan… and in specific Afghanistan women and press freedom in Afghanistan.”

To date, Nekzad has had the chance to meet with journalism students in several classes and has also been a frequent participant in panel discussions and media interviews because of her expertise on the media climate in Afghanistan.

This week, for example, Nekzad was the subject of a major feature article posted by the Faculty of Public Affairs, appeared on CTV National News to discuss the Taliban reversal on access to school for girls, spoke to journalism students in Christine Crowther’s JOUR 4504 Media and International Development class and was also a guest speaker at the A Night to Remember Afghanistan fundraiser hosted by the Afghan Canadian Support Network.

Nekzad has a number of other public appearances scheduled in the weeks and months ahead and is also open to new invitations. Those who are interested in inviting Nekzad to speak should reach out by email at

To help Nekzad with her public appearances, Carleton’s journalism program assembled a team of students to work with her to prepare a short introductory video that she can use at events to help people to understand her story and the difficult decision she made to leave Afghanistan when the Taliban came to power. The video production was funded by the Carleton University Experiential Learning Fund (video below).

Nekzad fled Afghanistan with her young daughter and her brother-in-law in early September, leaving behind other family members and her position as the director of the Centre for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists, an organization that she founded. Earlier in her career she was the managing editor of Pajhwok Afghan News, one of the country’s largest independent news agencies.

From her base at Carleton, Nekzad is now able to continue to advocate for the rights of journalists in Afghanistan and to begin to fashion a research program to support those efforts.

Video by Manuel Baechlin, Eesha Affan, Emma Jackson with assistance from Fangliang Xu.