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General News of Sunday, 3 May 2020

Source: Daily Mail

72% of Ghanaians believe media not free – Afrobarometer survey

An Afrobarometer Survey has revealed that 72% of Ghanaians do not see the media as free to report news without government interference.

It said in its report that even in 10 Ghanaians (72%) say the media is “not very free” or “not at all free” to report or comment on news without government censorship or interference.

“Only two in 10 (19%) think the media is “somewhat free” or “completely free” to do so, the second-lowest perception of media freedom among eight countries surveyed in 2019,” the report said.

Key findings:

- Two-thirds of Ghanaians (65%) say the media should have the right to publish any views and ideas without government restrictions, a 29-percentage-point increase after a sharp dip to 36% in the 2017 survey. Three in 10 respondents (30%) say the government should have the right to prevent publications it disapproves of (Figure 1).

- Comparing preliminary data from Afrobarometer Round 8 surveys in 2019 in eight African countries, Ghana records the largest increase in support for media freedom (Figure 2).

- Support for media freedom is widespread among all key socio-demographic groups and increases significantly with education (76% among those with post-secondary education vs. 59% among those with no formal education). Young adults (66% among those aged 18-35 years), men (69%), and urban residents (69%) are more likely
to favour media freedom than older, female, and rural respondents (Figure 3).

- Support for the media’s watchdog role remains high. Eight in 10 Ghanaians (82%) say the media should constantly investigate and report on government mistakes and corruption, a 7-percentage-point increase compared to 2014 (Figure 4).

- Seven in 10 Ghanaians (72%) say the media is “not very free” or “not at all free” to report or comment on news without government censorship or interference. Only two in 10 (19%) think the media is “somewhat free” or “completely free” to do so, the second-lowest perception of media freedom among eight countries surveyed in 2019 (Figure 5).

Below is the full press statement:

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