Ever since I’ve been sharing my travel research I’m asked to be more positive. Considering I’m writing about politics, history & economics, staying positive is at best hard, at worst impossible. However, I remember visiting Ghana and being impressed with the fact that its press is more free than in countries such as Spain, France, the UK or the US. Ghana ranks 23rd in the World Press Freedom Index – which makes its press the most free in Africa and even better than the year before.1
This is where I should have stopped my research to stay positive & this is where you should stop reading if you want good news.
First, Ghana’s absolute freedom of press score didn’t get better, it got worse. However, no continent deteriorated as much as Europe which made countries like Ghana get better in comparison. Second, Ghana’s media is extremely concentrated, journalists often refrain from critical reporting and many media outlets are affiliated with politicians. There is no media regulation and the information on ownership is not transparent and often outdated.
Luckily, Reporters Without Borders makes inquiries about that, too.2 They conclude that 96 percent of Ghanaian magazines and newspapers belong to the four leading media companies, while its 77 percent for TV stations and 45 percent for radio broadcasting. On top of that, the country’s communications authority closed down 34 radio stations last autumn for bureaucratic reasons such as operating with an expired licence. Weirdly, the most well-known radio station that was closed down was aligned to the biggest opposition party.