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Ghana Improves Press Freedom Rankings in 2024 , but Situation Still Problematic – RSF Index

According to Reporters Without Borders press freedom around the world is being threatened by the very political authorities who should be its guarantors

Ghana has moved 12 places up from the last press freedom rankings by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), clocking 50th globally in this year’s World Press Freedom Index.

Although the rankings may indicate that press freedom is improving in Ghana, the situation remains problematic according to the RSF, as events around political interference in the work of journalists are to be blamed.

For example, in October last year, supporters from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) interrupted UTV’s Saturday night programme to attack Kwame A Plus, a vocal critic of the government. That aside, other sporadic events like the January attack on Citi FM correspondent Mohammed Alabira who was covering the ruling party’s Yendi parliamentary election have raised serious concerns about press freedom especially since there’s a major election this year.

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Elections in sub-Saharan Africa result in a great deal of violence against journalists and the media by political actors and their supporters, the index said, citing examples from Nigeria’s 2023 elections, Madagascar, and the controversies before Senegal’s recent elections.

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“This is what happened in Nigeria (ranked 112th in the 2024 World Press Freedom Index), where nearly 20 reporters were attacked in early 2023. In Madagascar (100th), ten were attacked by political activities during pre-election protests. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (123rd), where politicians often try to intimidate media personnel, the journalist Stanis Bujakera’s detention pending trial on a trumped-up charge prevented him from covering the run-up to the elections,” the report noted.

With major elections set for more than half of the countries on the continent this year, the current state of affairs for journalism freedom does not look good.

Globally, attacks on the press have intensified. According to Reporters Without Borders, press freedom around the world is being threatened by the very political authorities who should be its guarantors.

The RSF index which ranks 180 countries on the ability of journalists to work and report freely and independently, was released this month as part of World Press Freedom Day.

The index evaluates each country on five indicators – political context, legal framework, economic context, sociocultural context, and safety, scoring each country from 0 to 100.

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