Internews, a non-profit that trains local populations to produce news about their communities, created an interactive map for Afghanistan that shows how people get the news in different parts of the country.
As you explore the map, you see that radio rules the information environment for the majority of the country while the Internet barely registers as a news platform.
"The research combined quantitative and qualitative methodologies including 6,648 close-ended interviews in 107 districts, covering all of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces," the organization explains. “This effort guarantees that findings reported here are reasonably representative of the overall Afghan population.”
Mapping survey data with provincial data shows a rich story of the real situation on the ground in each province, which can vary drastically. In Herat, a more urban area with high access to electricity, 86 percent of the population has a television. In the more rural Uruzgan province, with more limited electricity, 99 percent of the population owns a radio and 90 percent owns a mobile phone — but there are few televisions and no Internet access at all.
Internews’ role in Afghanistan is to support local media initiatives, and data visualizations like this help target funding and resources to where they can be best utilized while simultaneously raising awareness of what is still lacking in the country.