Ghana declined in the latest global world press freedom ranking by the US-based Freedom House.
According to the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) Ghana has been downgraded from “Free” to Partly Free” in the latest report.
The report revealed that Ghana’s decline is as a result of stepped-up attempts to limit coverage of news events and confiscation of equipment; increases in violence directed at journalists by the police, the military, political party members, and ordinary citizens.
“Violations against journalists that went unpunished by the state; inaction by the president on a petition by 155 journalists on the attack by his staffer [Stan Dogbe] on a journalist; and attacks on journalists by political party activists and security forces,” are some of the reasons for the decline, according to the report.
The report also cited “censorship attempts” through a content authorisation law by the National Media Commission (NMC); and directive of the Information Services Department (ISD) requiring journalists working with foreign media organisations to seek approval from ISD before filming and after filming, submitting to the ISD for approval before filming, as other factors.
Meanwhile a statement from the MFWA stated that for the past ten years Ghana has remained one of two or three countries on the African continent rated as having a free press freedom environment.