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General News of Tuesday, 21 April 2020


Ghana drops three places on latest Press Freedom Index

File photo: Ghana has now moved from 27th to 30th on the index File photo: Ghana has now moved from 27th to 30th on the index

Ghana has once again dropped three places on the latest Press Freedom Index compiled by advocate group, Reporters Without Borders.

This is the second time in a row that the country has recorded a dip in its press freedom status having recorded a major dip in 2019 leading to the loss of the country’s status as Africa’s best-ranked country in the World Press Freedom Index.

Ghana moved down from 23 on the ranks to 27 in 2019 following the brutal murder of Tiger PI journalist Ahmed Suale and a number of attacks on journalists. This time Ghana has placed 30th as a result of the country’s inability to arrest and prosecute murderers of Ahmed Suale.

In the breakdown, Ghana’s abuse score was 47, while underlying situation score was 16.08 and global score, 22.26.

The report stated that even though investigations were opened into the murder of Ahmed Suale no substantive arrests have been made so far thereby leading to an unexpected halt in the case.

It added that “A ruling party parliamentarian who had been named in the documentary publicly threatened one of the journalists without ever being arrested or questioned…Investigative reporters are often threatened even if journalists are rarely arrested.”

Even in its woes, Ghana managed to beat other African countries on the list including South Africa.

The 2020 Index ranks 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists on the basis of the level of abuse, underlying situation score and global score amongst others.

Meanwhile, the best-performing countries on the index were, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Netherlands, respectively; while Djibouti, China, Eritrea, Turkmenistan and North Korea were the least performers.

How the Index is compiled

The degree of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries is determined by pooling the responses of experts to a questionnaire devised by RSF.

This qualitative analysis is combined with quantitative data on abuses and acts of violence against journalists during the period evaluated.

The criteria evaluated in the questionnaire are pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative framework, transparency, and the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.