Press Freedom: We don’t need a report to know the state of Ghanaian media – Alfred Ogbarmey

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Former Managing Editor of the Gye Nyame Concord, Mr Alfred Ogbarmey has said the state of Ghanaian media has been known by practitioners for a long time.

He said the people do not need any report to highlight the condition of the Ghanaian media.

Mr Ogbarmey was reacting to the latest press freedom ranking on Ghana, while speaking on the mid day news on 3FM with Mawuena Egbeta, Thursday May 5.

He said “For me, I think the important thing is the fact that the report comes just days after the US State Department issued its own human rights report which alarmingly, also raised the very concerns that the World Press Freedom report has raised.

“The truth of the matter is that we needed no such report to know the truth. Sam Jonah made reference to the fact that the culture of silence was creeping in. Media practitioners have known this for long. This morning I heard Manasseh Awuni speaking about the fact that ever since he started practicing journalism after graduating from GIJ in 2010, journalism practice started becoming more dreadful under the current regime. Ask yourself, when the first time or the last time you heard of a journalist fleeing this country over fear of being killed? It happened to Manasseh.”

Ghana has performed poorly in the latest press freedom ranking, dropping 30 places from 2021 to rank 60th on World Press Freedom Index 2022 with a score of 67.43.

The report cited government’s intolerance, a situation that forced journalists to engage in heavy self-censorship in the line with their work.

“Although the country is considered a regional leader in democratic stability, journalists have experienced growing pressures in recent years. To protect their jobs and their security, they increasingly resort to self-censorship, as the government shows itself intolerant of criticism,” the World Press Freedom indicated in its latest ranking released May 3,2022.

It added: “The 2019 information access law authorises journalists to demand information of national interest. However, a clause in the law allows a fee to be charged if the information requested is in a language other than English – a provision used to deny journalists’ access to the information they seek”

“In addition, one third of media outlets are owned by politicians or by people tied to the top political parties. The content they produce is largely partisan. In Ghana, most media outlets face financial problems, reflected 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”.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana

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