The government of Ghana through the Ministry of Information has pledged to improve the safety of journalists as they carry out their mandate in the country.
It said it is hoping to do this with the introduction of a Coordinating Mechanism on the Safety of Journalists which will be ready before July 2019.
The Ministry in a press statement on the occasion of World Press Freedom day said the government is committed to supporting measures that will strengthen press freedom and free expression in the advancement of Ghana’s democracy.
Reporters Without Borders in its recent World Press Freedom Index saw Ghana lose its spot as one of the best-ranked countries for press freedom.
The drop was attributed mainly to the murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale earlier in 2019.
Globally, the country dropped from 23 in 2018 to 27 in 2019.
The celebration of the 2019 World Press Freedom Day is being held in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on the theme, “Media for Democracy, Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation.”
While commending journalists in the country for their contribution to nation building, the Ministry of Information said, “Government is in the process of implementing a Media Capacity Enhancement Programme (MCEP) to boost the capacity of media practitioners in the delivery of their mandate.”
“Finally, this year’s theme acknowledges the risk of disinformation and thus admonishes an adherence to factual reportage always,” the Ministry said.
Journalists in the country are rarely arrested unjustly but they continue to be under threats of physical attacks and abuse, in some cases by police officers.
Despite some instances of attacks on journalists whose work are seen as being critical of state actors, Ghana continues to be seen as one of the most democratic countries in Africa.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to personally address brutalities and the threat of deaths on the lives of journalists which was gaining roots in the society.
It said the government, as well as political parties, should also publicly condemn these threats and censure ‘their own’ whose utterances and actions tend to support violence against media and journalists.
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