Some observers attribute the increased violence to growing tension before the 2014 election to select Karzai’s successor as president. “The attacks on the media will get worse because politicians don’t want to face problems from the media, such as the Hasht-e Sobh reports,” says Faheem Dashty, who runs Afghanistan’s National Journalist Union.

In the Hasht-e Sobh newsroom, Rostami says he’s not deterred. He acknowledges that the stress of the past several months has caused him to lose a lot of weight, but he’s at work on more investigations, which he plans to file in the coming weeks.

Kawa, his editor, is equally determined, despite the looming revenue problems his and other media outlets are facing. “We’re encouraged by the response we’ve gotten on the reports,” he says. “If I could afford to hire four more full-time investigative reporters, I would be able to publish a report like this every week.”

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Sabra Ayres is a journalism instructor at American University of Afghanistan