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Ghana News

Ghana’s Decline in Press Freedom Reflects on its State of Democracy

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Ghana’s ranking on the Press Freedom Index 2022 has dropped from 60th to 62nd globally, the worst performance in 18 years since it ranked 66th in 2005. However, it placed 9th in Africa, an improvement from its 10th position in the previous year. The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, stated that Ghana’s press freedom decline is a reflection of the country’s state of democracy. Braimah believes that something is fundamentally wrong with the practice of democracy, which has resulted in the decline in press freedom in recent years.

Braimah also expressed his concerns about the Government’s lack of seriousness in promoting press freedom and the need for the National Comprehensive Framework on Safety of Journalists to be expedited. He stated that the Government is living in self-denial, and despite alarm bells being rung since 2019 about the deteriorating press freedom conditions in the country, the Government has repeatedly denied the claims.

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Samuel Akudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu and Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, has called for the quick passage of the Broadcasting Law to promote responsible journalism and deal with excesses in the media. Ablakwa believes that Ghana’s decline in press freedom could negatively impact foreign investments and Ghana’s global image. For the most part, Ghana has been regarded highly and celebrated for its democratic credentials in the past, and its decline in press freedom is a cause for worry.

Braimah pointed out that the happenings in the media are quite disturbing, given the successes that have been achieved in the past. In 2018, Ghana ranked number one in Africa, and at a certain point, it was either second or third in the continent. Therefore, the current global ranking in the 60s is a worrying development. Braimah believes that the Government needs to demonstrate its seriousness in promoting press freedom and take steps to remedy the decline in press freedom.

In conclusion, Ghana’s decline in press freedom is a reflection of its state of democracy, and there is a need for the Government to demonstrate its commitment to promoting press freedom. The quick passage of the Broadcasting Law and the expedited action on the National Comprehensive Framework on Safety of Journalists are necessary steps to remedy the situation.

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