Award-winning investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni

Award-winning investigative journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni says that compared to past regimes, the Akufo-Addo era “is the worst for journalists in Ghana”.

According to him, since joining the profession during the tenure of former President J. A. Kufuor, this is the worst situation he has seen.

“I have been doing journalism since Kufuor’s [administration]. And, in my view, Akufo-Addo’s era is the worst for journalists in Ghana”, he wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

In a related post, he further stated that “I did some of the most daring works in the John Mahama era, and I never feared for my life as today. The danger is real!”.

The comments by the journalist come in the wake of the 2022 Reporters Without Borders report, on press freedom in Ghana.

According to the France-based NGO, Ghana has dropped 30 places in the latest press freedom index put together by Reporters Without Borders for 2022.

The report, which was released to commemorate International Press Freedom Day, 2022, scored Ghana 67.43, placing the country 60th on the index that monitored 180 countries.

This ranking is the lowest the country has ever seen in the past 17 years since it placed 66th in 2005.

On the African continent, the country was ranked 10th behind a number of African countries, including Burkina-Faso which ranked 6th on the continent.

However, in 2018, Ghana ranked first in Africa, a slot which is now being occupied by Seychelles.

The report also said “government has shown itself intolerant of criticism. In addition, one-third of media outlets are owned by politicians or by people tied to the top political parties. The content they produce is largely partisan”.

Meanwhile, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says government has welcomed the Reporter with measures to rectify the anomalies.

According to him, the report by RSF is a baseline reference document, which may be used to gauge Ghana’s press freedom in the future.

In a statement on Wednesday, the sector minister stressed that even though the publishers called for circumspection in comparing the 2022 report to that of 2021, due to the differences in methodology, government will still consider a raft of measures to improve the country’s rating.