The president of the Ghana Journalist Association of Ghana (GJA), Affail Monney has said that Ghana’s drop in the latest ranking of the World Press Freedom Index must serve as a wake-up call to increase the protection of journalists in the country.
He said the factors that accounted for Ghana’s slip in the league are not far-fetched as there have been several incidents of violent attacks and assault on journalists including the murder of an investigative journalist with Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ TigerEye PI, Ahmed Suale.
In a Citi News interview, Affail Monney said security agencies and other state actors must work to protect journalists as they discharge their duties as expected in working democracies.
“It came as no surprise that Ghana has lost some grounds as far as press freedom is concerned. We were perching on top of the league table of free media spaces in Africa last year and 23rd globally and now we are 2nd in Africa and 27th globally. The causal factors are not far-fetched, we’ve witnessed attacks of scandalous frequency on journalists. The headline was the assassination of Ahmed Suale of TigerEye fame,” he said.
The latest press freedom ranking released by Reporters without Borders, Namibia is now the best-ranked country in Africa in the World Press Freedom Index.
Affail Monney expressed optimism that Ghana can regain the top spot if journalists are adequately protected and those who perpetrate violence against them are expeditiously dealt with.
“This is a wakeup call to all of us to extend better protection especially officialdom and the security apparatus to ensure that journalists are protected better than it is now and to ensure that cases of attacks against journalists are also investigated expeditiously and the perpetrators deal with surgically. This is the time for us to deal with impunity head one otherwise we will continue to slip and once we slip, the beacon of our democracy will also dim,” he said.