The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah has said he is not surprised Ghana has dropped in the latest World Press Freedom Index.
“It’s an unfortunate development that we shouldn’t get to where we are now. Unfortunately, over the last couple of years the signals were clear that if proper steps were not taken we were going to lose that prestigious position and the credibility it poses on our democracy. So it’s unfortunate but that’s where we are now.
“It comes down to the attitude of the government of the day and the government attitude is so important. Because it is the government which includes all State Institutions, the attitude on matters that bother on press freedom and free speech infractions are so critical,” Mr. Braimah told Lily Mohamed on Starr Today Tuesday.
He continued “When you have a government that is determined to apply a law that is so nebulous, a law that when the President himself, when he was not President, he described as an akin law and yet come to power and his government decides to cheaply use it to abuse the right of people.”
Ghana has dropped 30 places from 2021 to rank 60th on World Press Freedom Index 2022 with a score of 67.43.
Ghana has also dropped significantly on the continental ranking for the safety of journalists.
African countries ahead of Ghana include Namibia, South Africa, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Niger.
In this vein, the Executive Secretary pointed out that there are some developments that affect media practice in the country and it takes bold journalists to practice what democracy requires.
“Ones (journalists) that hold power to account, ones that truly serve the public interest and so on. So these for me are the worrying development that is serving as the basis for what they are having today rather than a law that is overlooked or a law that is not in place.
“When you have press freedom, human rights reported and nothing happens and you have persons who are supposed to protect journalists and other individuals being the ones who are abusing journalists and other individuals and nothing happens. Then of course you have a government that doesn’t care about protecting the rights of Journalists in promoting free speech,” he added.
Mr. Braimah stated that circumstances that Ghanaians journalists found themselves in today takes confidence and daring journalists to do the best kind of journalism.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Isaac Dzidzoamenu