Yaw Boadu Ayeboafo, Chairman of the National Media Commission (NMC), has stated that journalists’ rights are not superior to those of other citizens.
Journalists, he claims, should be prepared to recompense for any harm they cause others while performing their jobs because their rights are not superior to others’.
“Anyone of us has the right to say whatever we choose, and no one should stop us.” But once we’ve stated what we want to say, if it offends other people’s delicacy or sensibility, we must compensate them because our right is no more important than anyone else’s,” he remarked at an event in Accra commemorating World Press Freedom Day.
He did concede, though, that media personnel should be allowed to conduct their jobs without intervention.
Roland Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), stated that the media is the lifeblood of the country’s democracy.
“The media serves as the oxygen for democracy,” he told TV3 on the sidelines of the event. “If our democracy is not in tatters, even though our ranking is a source of concern, it means there is a glimmer of hope that if we do things right, if our law and order community would apply the law regardless of who the perpetrators are.”
Ghana recently received a dismal ranking in the latest press freedom index.
Ghana’s ranking in the most recent press freedom survey fell 30 spots to 60th place out of 180 nations studied.
Ghana has shifted from’satisfactory’ to ‘difficult’ on the situational index as a result of the significant dip, which is the country’s lowest ever.
Ghana received a score of 67,43 from Reporters Without Borders, the organization in charge of producing the rankings, which is the third-largest dip after ranking 66th in 2005 and 67th in 2002.
According to a report by Reporters Without Borders, government intolerance and interference are to blame for journalists’ severe self-censorship.