Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2003

2003 Scores

Press Status


Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


Freedom of expression is constitutionally guaranteed and generally respected. Fulfilling a campaign promise, the government of President John Kufuor in 2001 repealed Ghana's criminal libel and sedition laws and otherwise eased pressure on the press. However, the 1994 Emergency Powers Act allows the government to censor news from disturbed areas. In March, officials imposed prepublication censorship on stories about an outbreak of interclan violence in the north of the country. The National Media Commission, an independent government body, is responsible for monitoring the media and maintaining journalistic standards. While major government media outlets exercise some restraint in their coverage, they do report on allegations of official corruption and mismanagement. In addition, several private newspapers freely criticize the administration. However, in August, an editor in chief received death threats from alleged supporters of the former president. Poorly paid journalists are reportedly susceptible to bribery.