Mohseni060610.jpg In a fascinating read, The New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta, profiles the man who some call “Afghanistan’s Rupert Murdoch,” Saad Mohseni.

Mohseni is the founder of the Moby Group, the most powerful and successful media company in Afghanistan. The company produces the country’s number one show, “Afghan Star” (essentially an Afghan take on “American Idol”) as well as news on its Tolo Channel.

The news it produces is having a major impact in the country:

Still, an estimated one-third to one-half of the population of Afghanistan watched a Presidential debate last August on Tolo TV, and cameras from Tolo have been repeatedly banned from parliament and the government ministries after the network broadcast stories of government ineptness or wrongdoing. Its news programs exposed stuffed ballot boxes and other examples of fraud in the August Presidential election. Mark Thompson, the director-general of the BBC, visited Mohseni in late March, and told me, “Our guys tell me that Tolo news blew them away. In this entire region, no one else is doing this kind of work. That’s on TV. On radio, they also blew them away.”

The article also discusses Mohseni’s relationship with the former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, who now sits on Moby’s board of directors:

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