Ghana has been ranked the 22nd country on the World Press Freedom Index.
According to the 2015 World Press Freedom Index ranking, compiled by Paris-based ‘Reporters Without Borders,’ Ghana ranked 22nd out of 180 countries.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Communications, Dr. Omane Boamah at a symposium and Flag-raising ceremony in commemoration of World Press Freedom Day in Accra on Tuesday.
“I am told this is the highest position we have ever attained on the global rankings. We must indeed congratulate ourselves for making this significant progress in media development, especially when we beat giants such as the USA and the UK to it,” he gladly said.
The Minister noted that the ranking will motivate both Government and all stakeholders to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution.
“Let me be quick to add that such an exercise must prioritise the need for the media to educate and entertain with the view to equipping people to make informed decisions and choices based on credible information. This noble task must at all times discern and defend the national interest. Also the safety of Practitioners must at all times be protected and defended.”
He however urged the media not to take country stability and freedom for granted adding that “oftentimes there have been discrepancies in the work of the media, in terms of people’s right to true information and their responsibility to be fair and factual.”
“I am referring especially, to the speed with which people, such as citizen journalists put out information on social media without caring to cross-check their facts and figures. I am also referring to the indecent haste with which reputable media houses, traditional/conventional pick such information and publish them as the gospel truth without cross-checking. By engaging in such practices, you need to ask yourselves whether you end up crucifying the principles of sound journalism, ethics and law or you advance the frontiers of this noble profession?”
The World Press Freedom Day is proclaimed by the United Nations to acknowledge media pluralism and press freedom.
It is celebrated on May 3, every year to mark the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana