Yingst says Afghan citizens pay the highest price for Taliban takeover of Afghanistan
Granthshala News foreign correspondent Trey Youngst discusses “Hammer Time” with Granthshala News host Bill Hemmer about covering the Taliban on the ground in Afghanistan as a foreign journalist.
Yingst, who is currently reporting from Kabul, said he first saw “a convoy of Taliban fighters” in a white van while landing at the airport in Kabul.
“You can see all the images you want online and whatever you want in the video feed and wire,” Yingst said. “But when you see these Taliban fighters getting out of the trucks… it’s something that’s hard to describe.”
Yingst noted that it was difficult to enter Afghanistan to cover the conflict, and that he would need permission from the Taliban to report there.
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“Right now, the Taliban is trying to engage with the international community,” he said. “So they’re interacting with the media in a pretty bizarre way.”
Yingst said Taliban officials asked him if he would cover them favorably, but that his duty as a journalist in the country was to tell the truth and report what was happening.
“Our role as journalists around the world, no matter where we are reporting, is to tell the truth,” he said. “We don’t take orders from the Taliban when it comes to our reporting.”
“The real losers in the media industry … are the local journalists,” he said, citing instances where the Taliban would beat or torture Afghan journalists, but allow foreigners to report more freely for fear of an international incident. Will give
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Yingst also said that despite the Taliban’s violent history, to report from the country, you have to see them as “humans”.
“Despite the fact that they may have had a very dark past, they may have killed many people, fellow Americans too, you just have to treat them like people, give them a level of respect, and One has to try to understand where they are coming from. In their conversations, but also remember who they are,” he said.
Some of these conversations, Yingst said, could be “panic,” relaying his experience bragging to the Taliban about the number of Americans they killed.
Despite difficulties as a journalist covering the Taliban and the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, Yingst said it was important to understand that the Taliban did not represent the Afghan people, many of whom had their entire lives and dreams taken away overnight. were taken.
“While we cover this Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the people who pay the highest price are Afghan citizens who can no longer listen to music, who can no longer go to a play, unless the Quran is about They can no longer move freely on safe and secure streets,” he said. “They are living in an Afghanistan that is years behind this country, and years behind what could have been.”