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Ghana improves in press freedom from 62nd position in 2023 to 50th in latest report

The latest World Press Freedom Index 2024 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) shows that Ghana has made significant strides in media freedom, climbing from 62nd place in 2023 to 50th in the most recent update.

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This advancement places Ghana among the top 50 countries out of the 180 surveyed, reflecting notable improvements in its media landscape.

RSF acknowledged Ghana's vibrant and pluralistic media environment, citing factors such as diverse media platforms and a supportive legal framework. Anne Bocandé, the editorial director of RSF, emphasized the importance of this achievement, stating, "The Joy News channel, the Myjoyonline website, and radio Peace FM are very popular and reflect a high degree of pluralism and diversity."

However, concerns persist over political interference in media affairs. RSF highlighted an incident where members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) forcefully invaded the studios of UTV in Accra. Bocandé underscored this issue, stating, "Nonetheless, the ruling party wrote to the Despite Media Group, which runs the privately owned United TV channel, in October 2023 requesting the inclusion of one of its members in the TV channel’s broadcasts in order, it said, to ensure balance."

Bocandé also expressed concern over a global trend of declining political support for press freedom, warning, "As more than half the world's population goes to the polls in 2024, RSF is warning of a worrying trend revealed by the 2024 World Press Freedom Index: a decline in the political indicator, one of five indicators detailed in the Index. States and other political forces are playing a decreasing role in protecting press freedom."

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She further elaborated on the implications of this trend, stating, "This disempowerment sometimes goes hand in hand with more hostile actions that undermine the role of journalists, or even instrumentalise the media through campaigns of harassment or disinformation."

RSF calls on governments and political entities to prioritize the protection of press freedom, underscoring its pivotal role in upholding democracy and ensuring access to unbiased information for all citizens.

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