Veteran journalist, Kwesi Pratt Junior, has expressed his repulsion at suggestions that media freedom should be restricted.
In an exclusive interview with JoyNews’ Emefa Apawu, Pratt met such suggestions, “some of which come from journalists,” with strong opposition, stating that they lack merit.
“I am abhorred,” Pratt, editor of the Insight Newspaper vented.
Comments from sections of the public and some state polices recently have posed threats to media freedom in Ghana.
JoyNews in an attempt to create more awareness about media freedom, launched the Free Media campaign this week.
Those who want media freedom limited cite what they call irresponsible reportage.
But sharing his thoughts on the JoyNews campaign, Pratt noted that the actions of a few so-called irresponsible journalists cannot and should “not justify the institution of authoritarian regimes,” on media freedom.
Currently, the National Media Commission (NMC) serves as a check on the media. The 1992 Constitution also permits anyone aggrieved by a media publication to seek redress in the courts.
The criminal libel law, which allowed governments to prosecute journalists for their work, was repealed in the first term of former President John Kufuor, second President of the Fourth Republic.
What can threaten media freedom?
Kwesi Pratt listed a couple of situations he said, can be a limitation on media freedom; one which is illiteracy.
According to him, the struggle for literacy is important because when most citizens cannot read, the audience of the media is drastically reduced.
Also, what people earn is crucial to the survival of the free media because when people earn below the minimum wage, they must choose between buying a newspaper and buying food.
He cited access to electricity as another threat to the free media because if journalists produce the content and there is no electricity to consume it, the people can be blindsided.