According to a

Majority of citizens said the government should have the right to prevent the media from publishing things that it considers harmful to society.

This is a reversal of attitudes during previous survey rounds between 2005 and 2014, in which a majority of Ghanaians consistently endorsed media freedom from government interference.

From its strong advocacy during the country's struggles for independence and democratic rule to its current watchdog role for society, the Ghanaian media has continually set the agenda on matters of critical importance, sustained the discourse, and effected change.

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This has earned the country a reputation as one of the most media-friendly countries in the world, rising steadily on the World Press Freedom Index from 67th in 2002 to 23rd in 2018, from 19th among African countries to number one.

This success has relied on constitutional provisions for a free and independent press, including laws against censorship, government interference, and harassment.

These provisions have not always protected the media, however: A libel and sedition law allowed authorities to intimidate and criminalize the media.

On World Press Freedom Day, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo called on governments around the world to defend the freedoms of the media in order to promote accountable governance.

And the media and various civil society organizations have been advocating for the passage of the Right to Information Bill (RTI), which would guarantee citizens equal rights to access information in the custody of any public institution in accordance with Article 31F of the Constitution.

However, popular support for a free media has dropped sharply in Ghana: According to Afrobarometer survey data, a majority of citizens now said the government should have the right to prevent the media from publishing things that it considers harmful to society.

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Survey findings also show that most Ghanaians rely on radio and television for their news, though social media and the Internet are growing in importance as news sources, especially among young and well-educated citizens.

Abused journalists
Abused journalists

A majority of citizens said they trust information from the media, but many also see at least some members of the media as corrupt.

Read the full report here: