Despite the fact that there are no recorded incidents of government repression of media or journalists in Ghana in 2017, the country’s position on the World Press Freedom Index 2017 released this week has not changed. The country is ranked 26, the position it occupied in 2016.
The country also had the same score of 17.95, the same as in 2016. In 2016 Ghana dropped four steps from 22 on the 2015 Index to 26.
The ranking by the Reporters without Borders which ranks 180 countries of the world according to things like media independence, self-censorship, rule of law and transparency highlights the danger of a tipping point in the state of media freedom, especially in leading democratic countries.
Democracies began falling in the Index in preceding years and now, more than ever, nothing seems to be checking that fall, it said.
“The obsession with surveillance and violations of the right to the confidentiality of sources have contributed to the continuing decline of many countries previously regarded as virtuous. This includes the United States (down two places at 43rd), the United Kingdom (down two places at 40th), Chile (down two places at 33rd), and New Zealand (down eight places at 13th),” it added.
According to the group, Donald Trump’s rise to power in the United States and the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom were marked by high-profile media bashing, a highly toxic anti-media discourse that drove the world into a new era of post-truth, disinformation, and fake news.
Norway ranks number one with a score of 7.60 and sitting at the bottom ranked at 180 is North Korea with a score of 84.98.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi