Ghana makes stride in press freedom

 The President of the Ghana Jour­nalists Association (GJA), Mr Albert Kwabena Dwum­four, has revealed that Ghana has moved from 62 to 50 on the World Press Freedom Index.

He attributed the great feat to GJA’s aggressive actions taken to defend journalists’ freedom in the country.

“This includes the blacklisting of some political figures whose supporters assaulted journalists and media outlets, he said and added that the actions demonstrated that Ghana was committed to press freedom,” he said.

Mr Dwumfour was speaking at this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) celebration organised by the GJA in Koforidua in the Eastern Region on the theme: “Le­veraging journalism for sustainable environment and future.”

The celebration was to com­memorate WPFD to enable the media fraternity the opportunity to reflect on issues of press freedom and professional ethics and to remind governments of their com­mitment to press freedom and the need for them to respect same.

Speaking on the theme, Mr Dwumfour called for renewed action towards protecting the envi­ronment, and called on the media to resume the concerted campaign against illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey.”

Having considered the global theme for the WPFD 2024, which was “Press for Planet: Journalism in the face of environmental cri­sis,” he indicated that the GJA has carved out its own theme giving the extensive damage environmen­tal degradation had caused to the planet, and the recognition of the potency of journalism to deal with the environmental crisis the world was facing.

The Minister of Informa­tion-designate, Fatima Abubakar, revealed that Ghana has moved up the Press Index from 8th to 6th position in Africa as well.

He said it was of great concern that while the country celebrated the achievement, government was concerned about the threats and attack on journalists all over the world, and added that the acts of violence did not only put their lives and livelihood at risk, but was also strike at the core of our democrat­ic values.

She condemned such attacks and reiterated that the government was committed to safeguarding the safety and security of all press men and women and pledged govern­ment’s undying commitment work­ing towards efforts to improve the various indicators used for Press freedom.

She said to confront challenges within the media space, the Minis­try had taken proactive measures to address them by implementing a coordinated mechanism on the safety of journalists in collabora­tion with the National Media Com­mission, and has also launched the media capacity enhancement programme to enhance capacity of media practitioners in Ghana.

Dr John Kingsley Akrugu, Ex­ecutive Director of the Environ­mental Protection Agency (EPA), said the country was confronted with unprecedented environmental challenges that demanded urgent action.

For his part, the Eastern Region­al Minister, Mr Seth Acheampong, acknowledged that the media had played a vital role in advocating protection for the environment and urged the media not to relent on it oars but to continue to ex­pose penchants who were causing destruction to the environment.


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