President of the Ghana Journalists Association, Roland Affail Monney has described the country’s ranking on the World Press Freedom index for 2020 as a good one which surpasses the situation in more advanced democracies the world over.
According to Mr. Monney, Ghana’s ability to rank 30 out of a total of 180 countries and territories including democratic pacesetters such as the US, UK, and France shows significant success in the free operation of the press in the country.
His comments come amidst the political controversy of whether or not press freedom has declined under the current administration.
The former President, John Dramani Mahama who started the debate on Sunday, May 3, 2020, while Ghana joined the rest of the world to mark World Press Freedom Day said press freedom was better under his tenure but has declined significantly under the Akufo-Addo administration.
But responding to this, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah described as a palpable falsehood that press freedom has seen a dip under the current administration.
The former President also mentioned in his address via Facebook that the country was ranked number 1 in Africa, as the country with the most media freedom. But evidence suggests the former President may have lied about that claim also.
Commenting on Ghana’s performance in the latest rankings, Mr. Affail Monney says though there remains room for improvement, Ghana is still doing very well in ensuring the freedom of the press.
“The report cited timid attempts by officialdom to deal with impunity and impunity is a common thread which ranks through all the attacks, one thing about impunity is that if it’s not addressed surgically then it reignites sapropelic and it re-energizes a cycle which makes it difficult if not impossible to uproot.”
“So it’s a wakeup call to all of us to join forces and also to call on the government security agencies and all others to help fight more ferociously and tenaciously the culture of impunity which has caused us to be slipping in these past years.”
“But the same report names Ghana among four other countries whose media systems are satisfactory so even though yes we have slipped, it is not a basket case because our media system is still adjudged satisfactory and we also note with satisfaction that even at the 30th position we have outranked paragons of democracy and press freedom like the UK, like Italy, like France, and like the United States,” he told Accra-based Starr FM.
The 2020 World Press Freedom Index was compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), under the theme, “entering a decisive decade for journalism, exacerbated by coronavirus.”
The theme shows that the coming decade will be decisive for the future of journalism, with the COVID-19 pandemic highlighting and amplifying the many crises that threaten the right to freely report independent, diverse and reliable information.