World Press Freedom Index: Ghana’s 2022 Ranking Plummets To Lowest In 17 Years

World Press Freedom Index: Ghana’s 2022 Ranking Plummets To Lowest In 17 Years

  • Ghana's press freedom ranking has declined significantly in the 2022 World Press Freedom Index compiled by RSF
  • Ghana has dropped from the 30th position last year to 60th this year out of 180 countries ranked worldwide
  • The report cited a sharp decline in the safety of Ghanaian journalists as one of the major issues

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Ghana has dropped significantly in the 2022 ranking on the World Press Freedom Index released by the Reporters Without Borders, plummeting to the lowest in 17 years.

A journalist
A journalist holding a microphone, recorder and notebook. Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

This year’s Index ranks Ghana 60th out of 180 countries worldwide for press freedom, while it ranked 30th just last year.

Reporters Without Borders or Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) in French, defines press freedom as “the effective possibility for journalists, as individuals and as groups, to select, produce and disseminate news and information in the public interest, independently from political, economic, legal and social interference, and without threats to their physical and mental safety.”

The RSF ranking uses political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context, and security indicators to compile the Index.

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2022 World Press Freedom Index for Ghana
2022 World Press Freedom Index for Ghana. Source: UGC/@Reporters Without Borders
Source: UGC

On the safety of journalists, the report on Ghana noted that there had been a sharp decline.

“Journalists’ safety has deteriorated sharply in recent years. In 2020, reporters covering the effectiveness of anti-Covid-19 measures were attacked by security forces. And political leaders are again making death threats against investigative journalists. Nearly all cases of law enforcement officers attacking journalists are not pursued,” the report said.

For the “economic context,” the report stated that many media outlets in Ghana face financial problems, which is evident in low salaries and poor working conditions for journalists.

“Frequently, new newspapers are launched only to fold in a few months, due to inability to meet production costs. State-owned media, for their part, benefit from government advertising contracts and payment for publishing news items. Government advertising is awarded through a non-transparent and inequitable process,” the report on Ghana explained.

The report was compiled by analysing both quantitative and qualitative data. The five indicators were analysed through a quantitative survey of press freedom violations and abuses against journalists and media. Also, a qualitative study based on the responses to a questionnaire with 123 questions by hundreds of journalists, academics, and human rights defenders selected by RSF informed the Index.

NDC Gov't Will Repeal E-Levy Act In 2025 - Mahama Assures Ghanaians

In other news, Ghana's former president, John Dramani Mahama, has assured that the next elected government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in 2025 will repeal the controversial E-Levy Act.

In his address to Ghanaians under the theme Ghana At A Crossroads Monday, May 2, 2022, he reiterated that the NDC is not against taxes in principle but described the Electronic Transfer Levy Act, 2022 (Act 1075) as ''distortionary and burdensome''.

''We in the NDC do not oppose taxation as a principle. We'll not be pretentious and couch fanciful slogans to condemn the principle of taxation like the NPP did in the past," the former president said.

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