A Former United Nations Senior Advisor, Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah has said he is surprised that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is yet to meet the press as the country marks the World Press Freedom day.
He noted that press briefings are very important in the governance process in the country hence the President must prioritise meeting the press.
“Media briefing is very important. It’s come as a surprise to me that our president hasn’t met our local media for a press conference and not just visit a radio station to talk,” he said on the First Take with Dzifa Bampoh on 3FM Thursday May 5.
Regarding the National Media Commission (NMC) Prof Agyemang-Dua said “For the past 30 years the media commission has not been effective or it’s not empowered to roll out its mandate.”
Earlier, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Roland Affail Monney said that the media serves as the oxygen for Ghana’s democracy.
He explained that if the democracy of Ghana is not been torn in many places then it is an indication of a vibrant Ghanaian media.
Speaking at the Press Freedom day celebrations in Accra, he asked the law enforcers to deal with person who attack journalists.
“The media serves as the oxygen for democracy, so if our democracy is not in tatters, even though our ranking is a source of concerns, it means there is a glimmer of hope that if we do things right, if our law and order community would apply the law regardless of who the perpetrators are,” he told TV3 on the sidelines of the event.
Meanwhile, Ghana has performed poorly in the latest press freedom ranking, dropping 30 places from 2021 to rank 60th on World Press Freedom Index 2022 with a score of 67.43.
The report cited government’s intolerance, a situation that forced journalists to engage in heavy self-censorship in the line with their work.
“Although the country is considered a regional leader in democratic stability, journalists have experienced growing pressures in recent years. To protect their jobs and their security, they increasingly resort to self-censorship, as the government shows itself intolerant of criticism,” the World Press Freedom indicated in its latest ranking released May 3,2022.
It added: “The 2019 information access law authorises journalists to demand information of national interest. However, a clause in the law allows a fee to be charged if the information requested is in a language other than English – a provision used to deny journalists’ access to the information they seek”