Civil Society and other stakeholders are to continue in their collaborations with government in deepening education for State and Non-State actors on the safety of Journalists. Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah added that the National Media Commission also working with government will continue to promote press freedom and the safety of journalists.
The Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah made this known in a statement reacting to Ghana’s huge decline in the newly released 2022 Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index. The report, which was released to commemorate international Press Freedom Day, 2022, scored Ghana 67.43% placing Ghana at 60th on the new global ranking. In the 2021 report, Ghana at 78.67% percent placed 30th on the index report that monitors 180 countries. This ranking is the lowest the country has ever seen in the past 17 years since it placed 66th in 2005.
Ghana’s low index rankings was also tied to instances where Members of Parliament called for journalists to be beaten as well as press freedom violations. “Nearly all cases of law enforcement officers attacking journalists are not pursued” the report added.
The Information minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, noted that the report ranking relied on media landscape, political context, legal framework, economic context and safety of journalist. “According to the five parameters assessed under the new methodology, Ghana scored appreciably high in the following: legal framework (81.42%) and social cultural context (79.64%). The only parameter in which Ghana performed below average was Economic context (47.22%).”
On the below performance average the information minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah added it referred to the economic conditions of journalists on one hand and financial sustainability of media houses. The Reporters Without Borders, findings showed that journalists in Ghana do not earn decent incomes to sustain their livelihoods. Ghana was scored 47.22%, in terms of the economic context of journalists. On the journalist part again he cited low or poor salaries as a major factor whiles media houses lack financial stability making a number of them economically less viable.
The Information minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah advised media owners to work at improving the working and economic conditions of journalists they engage. “Ghana’s performance on safety of journalists leaves room for improvements” the minister’s statement added.
Ghana ranked 10th on the African continent behind a number of African countries with Burkina-Faso taking the 6th on the continent. Seychelles now ranks first which was Ghana’s position in 2018.