World Press Freedom Index: Ghana jumps 12 places to 50th globally
World Press Freedom Index: Ghana jumps 12 places to 50th globally

World Press Freedom Index: Ghana jumps 12 places to 50th globally

Ghana has seen a positive jump in the latest World Press Freedom Index, climbing 12 places to 50th globally. 


However, the World Press Freedom Index 2024 published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said concerns remain about increasing political pressure and a lack of accountability for attacks on journalists.

The section on Ghana on the RSF website said the West African nation boasted a vibrant media landscape with over 100 outlets, thanks to a legal framework guaranteeing press freedom. However, it said this very freedom has led to the rise of partisan media outlets owned by politicians, skewing content and fueling political bias.

Despite a high degree of pluralism among private media houses like Joy News and Peace FM, the report said the government's influence on the National Media Commission, responsible for media regulation, raises concerns. 

Additionally, it highlighted a 2023 incident where the ruling party pressured a private channel to include its members in broadcasts highlighted a growing trend of political interference.

It said while the 2019 Right to Information Act empowers journalists, a fee for requesting information in non-English languages creates a barrier. The economic realities of the media sector further complicate matters. Financial struggles lead to low salaries and limited resources, forcing some new outlets to shut down. State-owned media, on the other hand, benefit from government advertising, raising questions about editorial independence.

The report adds that culturally, Ghana offers a relatively tolerant environment for journalists to cover all subjects. However, safety concerns have emerged in recent years.

"Journalists’ safety has seriously deteriorated in recent years. Several attacks on press freedom have been registered, including the intrusion of ruling party supporters into a TV studio and an attack on a journalist during a live report in October 2023. Politicians have also made death threats against investigative journalists. Most cases of police violence against journalists are not pursued. The same goes for murders of journalists: five years after the brutal death of investigative reporter Ahmed Hussein-Suale, the investigation has ground to a halt. Worse still, the attorney general and justice minister told Parliament in early 2024 that criminal prosecutions had not been initiated due to lack of evidence," the report found.

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