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72% of Ghanaians believe “media is not very free” – Afrobarometer Survey

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An Afrobarometer Survey has shown that though Ghana has recorded the largest increase in support for press freedom in Africa, 72 percent of Ghanaians feel the media is “not very free” or “not at all free” to report or comment on the news without government interference.

Only two in 10 representing 19 percent think the media is “somewhat free” or “completely free” to do so.

The Survey said this is the second-lowest perception of media freedom among eight countries surveyed in 2019.

In its latest report, 65 percent of Ghanaians say the media should have the right to publish any views and ideas without government restrictions. This marked a 29-percentage-point increase “after a sharp dip to 36 percent in the 2017 survey.

Currently, three in 10 respondents say the government should have the right to prevent publications it disapproves of.

Comparing preliminary data from Afrobarometer Round 8 Surveys in 2019 in eight African countries, Ghana records the largest increase in support for media freedom

The report’s findings also noted that support for media freedom is widespread among all key socio-demographic groups.

Furthermore, support for the media’s watchdog role remains high.

The report noted that eight in 10 Ghanaians say the media should constantly investigate and report on government mistakes and corruption, a 7-percentage-point increase compared to 2014.

The Afrobarometer team in Ghana is led by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana). It interviewed 2,400 adult Ghanaians between September 16 and  October  3, 2019.

Ghana’s free press credentials suffered a hit when it dropped three places on the World Press Freedom index. This drop was mainly due to the threats investigative reporters face in the country.

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