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CDD-GHANA STATEMENT TO MARK WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY 2017

 PRESS RELEASE

CDD-GHANA STATEMENT TO MARK WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY 2017

Today, May 3, marks World Press Freedom Day, a day set aside to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, evaluate the state of press freedom around the world, defend the media on attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) wishes to use this opportunity to congratulate the media in Ghana for their diverse efforts and contribution in sustaining our democracy since the return to multiparty rule in 1992.

In particular, CDD-Ghana celebrates the enormous role the media played during the 2016 National Elections; their continuing efforts to inform, educate and promote the participation of Ghanaians in the affairs of governance, hold governments to account and the recent collective efforts to end illegal small scale mining popularly known as ‘Galamsey.’ It is partly for these reasons that the Reporters Without Borders, a leading defender of press freedom across the world has ranked Ghana 2nd in Africa for press freedom and 26th in the world, out of 180 countries, in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index. This is an achievement that media practitioners, owners, media associations, regulators and the general public should be proud of.

In spite of these achievements and the continuous growth of the media in Ghana, the theme for this year’s press freedom day, ‘Critical minds for critical times: Media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies’ is a reminder to all journalists and media practitioners to rededicate themselves to the core values of journalism including fairness, accuracy, humanity and accountability, to promote inclusiveness in our modern democratic society.

CDD-Ghana also calls on the media to use this opportunity to empower those who have traditionally been marginalized or excluded from participating in and shaping public discourse, ensure coverage that is inclusive of all facets of life including, coverage of remote and hard to reach places in Ghana, and generally to devote its resources to drive issues that serves the long term interest of the country.


CDD-GHANA STATEMENT TO MARK WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY 2017

Additionally, to be able to play this role effectively, the Center believes that media houses and their owners will have to find a fine balance between profit making and fulfilling their responsibility as the Fourth Estate of the Realm. So far, under the Fourth Republic, a majority of media houses have prioritized the bottom line to the disadvantage of the public good. In this regard, until the Media Commission finds an agreeable mechanism and legal framework for regulating media content, individual Media houses and associations like the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Ghana Independent Broadcasters Association (GIBA) and Private Newspaper Publishers Association of Ghana (PRINPAG) will have to take their responsibility for generating suitable content very seriously to protect the public good and advance the welfare of ordinary Ghanaian.

Finally, the Center would like to remind all stakeholders of the ever-expanding digital space and the need to proactively and progressively manage its use for the public good. The Center is confident that the media will step up to the task ahead and respond to the current challenges in the sector.

Ayeekoo to the media in Ghana!!!!

Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2017.