GJA encourages media to make use of Right to Information law as it is effective

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Ghana continues to witness steady decline on continental rankings regarding press freedom. The country lost its status as Africa’s best ranked country in the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders, an international institution that takes inventory of the state of journalism in more than 170 countries.

The country dropped 30 places in the 2022 WPF Index and has further dropped two steps down on the Global Press Freedom Index from 60 to 62 in 2023.

Speaking to GBCGHANAONLINE on how Ghana has fared in 30 years of World Press Freedom, a Communication Lecturer at the African University College of Communications, Nana Acheampong said standard in media practice has fallen where persons in Authority use their power to influence Journalism.   

“Journalism should rise beyond this complaint and then use the laws to actually go and get the news for the people” 

He encouraged media practitioners to take advantage of technology to make an impact in society. “There has never been optimal resources or anything, so we make do with what we have. Now we also have the blessing of smart phones. So even in spite of the problem we face in shortages of equipment and all that we have technology to circumvent.”

The General Secretary of Ghana Journalists Association, GJA, Kofi Yeboah, said the report by Reporters without Borders which highlights Self-Censorship in Ghana’s media space is worrisome.  He said frequent attacks on journalists contribute largely to such development.

“One of the things the report highlighted which I found quite interesting is that we are beginning to have instances of self-censorship.  So, because we are coming under attack, and people tend to be afraid they are not emboldened to do the work and that is a worrying trend” 

He encouraged journalists to make maximum use of the Right to Information Law as it is effective.

“I have to also encourage journalists and media practitioners to make use of the RTI law. The RTI law is working, it is very effective and we have had instances where the RTI Commission has sanctioned the police for not giving information out.  

Mr. Yeboah urged the media against taking stories from entities outside their media establishment

“Under no circumstances should any journalist take a story from an entity not within the media establishment.  Even within the media establishment you can’t take a story from any staff who is not on the editorial department, that is pure censorship.” 

Read Also >>> GHANA: RIGHT TO INFORMATION LAW – ACT 2019 (ACT 989)