Ghana | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press

Ghana

Ghana

Freedom of the Press 2004

2004 Scores

Press Status

Free

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

28

Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)

9

Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)

10

Freedom of the press is guaranteed by law and is generally respected in practice. Ghana's diverse and growing media landscape comprises approximately 50 independent and state-run newspapers, 11 government and 60 private radio stations, foreign periodicals and broadcasts, and a number of private and publicly run television stations. Due to the 2001 repeal of the Criminal Libel and Sedition Laws, increased freedom of expression and open criticism of governmental policies and officials appears in both private and government-owned media reports. However, authorities have reportedly pressured state-run media outlets to restrict opposition party coverage. A draft of the Right to Information Bill of the Republic of Ghana was released for public comment in late 2003 and was expected to be submitted to parliament in early 2004. In May, the president replaced the minister of communications with a new appointee as chairman of the National Communications Authority, the body responsible for allocating media licenses, due to complaints that the original appointment represented a conflict of interest. While the number of privately owned media outlets is growing, the weak economic situation stresses their viability, as advertising revenue is limited. Poorly paid journalists may also be susceptible to bribery. In August, a journalist was charged with extortion for threatening to publish an unfavorable article on a government official unless he received money to keep silent.