Media outlets - private TV stations in particular - have mushroomed in the post-Taliban years.
Radio, the main source of entertainment and news, is losing audience to TV.
There are around 80 terrestrial TV stations, more than 175 FM radios and hundreds of press titles, operating under a wide range of ownerships - from the government, provincial political-military powers and private owners to foreign and NGO sponsors.
Australian-Afghan media group Moby Capital Partners operates some leading stations, including Tolo (Sunrise) TV and Arman FM.Islamic rules apply
Much of the output on private TVs consists of imported Indian music shows and serials, and programmes modelled on Western formats. Tolo TV is the most popular national station.
Media laws ban material that is deemed to be against Islamic law and some private stations have angered religious conservatives. TV stations self-censor, and sometimes pixelate images of women.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says parts of the south and east are no-go areas for journalists since they are controlled by the Taliban. News organisations are also under threat from local and national officials and some Islamist clerics, the watchdog says.
Foreign-based or foreign-funded radios broadcast in Kabul, including the BBC (89 FM), Radio France Internationale, Deutsche Welle and US-backed networks Radio Free Afghanistan (broadcasting as Azadi Radio) and the Voice of America, which brands in Dari and Pashto as Radio Ashna ("Friend").
BBC World Service is available on FM in other major cities, and on shortwave across Afghanistan.
Newspaper readership has seen a significant leap, from almost nil under Taliban rule. Newspapers tend to reflect more openly on domestic developments than do broadcasters.
Internet access is limited and computer literacy and ownership rates are low. There were more than 1.5 million internet users by June 2012 (Internetworldstats.com).
Internet services have been boosted by an international fibre optic cable connection. The first 3G mobile services were introduced in 2012, allowing high-speed internet access through mobile phones.
- Hasht-e Sobh ("Daily 8am") - private, secular daily
- Hewad ("Homeland") - government-sponsored daily
- Anis ("Companion") - government-sponsored daily
- Mandegar ("Lasting") - private, daily
- Weesa ("Trust") - pro-government daily
- Arman-e Melli ("National Aspiration") - private, daily
- The Daily Afghanistan - private
- Daily Outlook - private, English-language
- Afghanistan Times - officially-funded, English-language
- Arman FM - Afghanistan's first private radio station, on FM in Kabul and other cities
- Arakozia FM - private, operated by Moby Group
- Radio Afghanistan - run by state broadcaster National Radio-TV Afghanistan (NRTA); also operates Kabul Radio FM 93 in the capital and 32 provincial stations
- National Television Afghanistan - run by state broadcaster (NRTA), via terrestrial relays and satellite
- Tolo TV - leading private network, operated by Moby Group; via provincial relays and satellite
- TOLOnews - Moby Group's news network, via satellite; website in English
- Lemar TV - private, Pashto-language sister station of Tolo TV
- 1 TV - private, broadcasts to major cities terrestrially
- Ariana TV - private, broadcasts terrestrially in many provinces and via satellite to Asia, Europe and North America
- Shamshad TV - private, available terrestrially in major cities