Ghana has joined other commonwealth nations to pledge their commitment to the protection of journalists at the just ended Global Conference for Media Freedom in London.
The two-day conference was also used to discuss ways to ensure responsible media and support for safety and protection of journalists.
Ghana’s delegation to the Conference was led by Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
Mr Nkrumah in an address to participants said Ghana had and continues to build a robust mechanism for free and responsible media practice through constitutional and legal frameworks.
“Ghana has repealed the Criminal Libel Law, enacted a whistle blowers law and recently passed Right to Information [Law]. These developments have introduced a refreshing pluralism onto Ghana’s mass media landscape. It has also opened up access to new and diverse voices that have promoted democracy and participation in governance and development; and above all enhanced press freedom,” he said.
The Information Minister said Ghana’s performance on the World Press Freedom Index with the last few years has been commendable despite the recent reported cases of attacks on media freedom.
“In recent years Ghana has also experienced its share of the global attacks on free media despite our good track record. The worst being the cold-blooded murder of Ahmed Suale believed to be connected with his work as an associate of the media organisation Tiger Eye PI. Regrettably, our investigative agencies have not made much headway in arresting and punishing perpetrators of such acts. It appears we took our media excellence and public tolerance for granted but now we have to face up to the changing realities and do more,” he added.
The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi, disclosed that Ghana was taking measures to fight abuse and attacks on journalists through the implementation of a coordinating mechanism on the safety of journalists which will help equip various stakeholders, prevent abuse and independently validate future claims of attacks.
He also revealed that Ghana was rolling out a media capacity programme in support of quality journalism but will not shy away from legislating against misinformation and disinformation which constitute challenges that threaten confidence in the media.
The Minister challenged the media and journalists to go beyond investigating and exposing nefarious acts and use their platforms to also highlight positive advancements of societies.
The maiden Global Conference for Media Freedom was jointly organised by the United Kingdom and Canadian governments.