Confronting political coercion to rebuild nation’s media landscape

Confronting political coercion to rebuild nation’s media landscape

The possible danger confronting Ghana may not stem from governmental failure, but rather from a corrupted media environment. 


The media, commonly known as the fourth estate, has a vital role in upholding accountability for government activities and representing the interests of the public.

 Nevertheless, when this authority is abused or manipulated, the media becomes a harmful influence.

Many journalism and communication institutions in the country are generating a substantial number of journalists, however, the fundamental nature of journalism is declining. 

There is a concerning pattern where journalists are becoming more influenced by a culture of political manipulation, which is an ideology that affects their opinions and guides media narratives.

The dominance of this particular ideology, along with an increasing tendency towards materialism and indulgence, has gradually undermined the fundamental principles of journalism and media conduct.

Global trend

On a global scale, the media has the capacity to drive societal transformation and upheaval, unless it becomes susceptible to political manipulation, prioritising certain agendas at the expense of overall well-being of the masses.

 Ghana’s media landscape is undergoing changes, nevertheless, the importance of mainstream media remains unquestionable.

Although social media and blogging have gained popularity, with a significant emphasis on lifestyle material, political conversation is often marginalised.

 This discrepancy is partially attributed to the veracity and comprehensiveness of the material offered by these emerging media platforms, which frequently struggle to rival well-established news institutions.

The widespread belief in the practice of political manipulation is mostly linked to the mediums of radio and television broadcasting, which indicates a worrisome pattern.

The presence of this ideological bias not only weakens the media's function in promoting societal progress but also poses a significant risk to the fundamental structure of Ghana's democratic future.

 If the media persists in giving more importance to political goals rather than accountability and societal progress, it indicates a grim future for both journalism and democracy in the nation.

The present condition of journalism in Ghana demonstrates a deviation from its principled history, wherein journalists who questioned the existing state of affairs were commended for their integrity.

In contemporary times, the field of journalism is plagued by a focus on material gain and biased reporting, since media organisations often affiliate themselves with specific political groups.

This undermines their responsibility to promote transparency and contribute to the progress of society.

Media independence

The degradation of media independence and the growing political influence over media ownership in Ghana give rise to concerns regarding the future of journalism in the country.

The media's focus has turned towards sensationalism and prioritising political agendas, disregarding its essential function of fostering accountability and addressing public concerns.

The historical eras characterised by a 'culture of silence', during which journalists who dared to question institutional deficiencies were subjected to persecution, stand in stark opposition to the present situation, where journalistic bravery has been replaced by compliance and manipulation.

The media's unwavering effort to identify with specific political ideologies, particularly during election periods, worsens the problem, diminishing the media's ability to hold individuals accountable and promote societal advancement.


The writer is a Human Rights Advocate at the University of Education, Winneba

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