Ghana has upheld it thirtieth (30th) position on the World Press Freedom Index 2021. A development we forcefully oppose and think we (Ghana) can be part of the top ten (10) press freest countries in the world.
Journalists and media persons have consistently come under ruthless assault in the last five (5) years.
These attacks against Journalists are a danger and threat to press freedom and freedom of speech/expression. They are an obstacle to the right to information since they tend to block free access to and circulation of information.
Violence against journalists is absolutely unacceptable and the state has a responsibility to guarantee protection and proper safety of the media and journalists.
These attacks intimidate journalists and could lead to self-censorship when covering stories that may be risky. The Police and Government of the day have failed to investigate these attacks and create an enabling environment for journalists and prioritise their safety.
Ghana cannot continue to ignore its laws and international obligations when it comes to the security and protection of the media. The attacks cannot remain unpunished.
UPDN urge government to investigate and bring to book those suspected to be responsible of this heinous crime. If security officials and political parties advise their members on the obligations to protect journalists and media outlets and sanction are incurred by those of them who ignore the obligations, we are confident Ghana will not only be part of the top ten countries but place first.
After experimenting this constitutional rule for twenty-nine (29) years, it is obvious strong democracy needs strong and independent media outlets to inform citizens, to ensure positive engagement and to hold public officials accountable.
Continuing with this impunity will only increase the perils for journalists, kill slowly the right to information and welcome the culture of silence (the dark days) in Ghana.
Very importantly, all eyes are on Ghana to either maintain her democratic credentials or scale them up and the media have an indispensable role in achieving that, as the state fulfils its responsibility to protect journalists.
United Press for Development Network (UPDN) wishes to state that, we support the Broadcasting bill and commend Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (Information Minister), Communication Ministry, National Media Commission (NMC), Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) and other stakeholders for this progressive development.
To fulfil its duties for free media and for a press enabling environment, this administration must urgently adopt a press/media code that guarantees independence of media and creates accountability for journalist’s security and media protection.
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