Ghana is a West African country situated along the Gulf of guinea & the Atlantic ocean. it is a unitary democracy, which means the elected president is the head of government & the cabinet as well. It is known that the media plays a big role to solidify democracy. And media in Ghana is known as the fourth arm of the government itself. Over the years, media accessibility in Ghana has increased. Since the media is given the long waited freedom after the 2000 election, it has become easier for media access places without any hassle. Yet the government has restricted the media to access a few places due to privacy concerns as per the constitution of Ghana.
The media of Ghana has been rated 27 out of 125 points by the reporters without borders, with 1 being the freest. Though it is questioned how true & accurate the evaluation is, it is considered free & independent in the outside world. Experts believe that the professionalism & neutrality of the journalists are foregone to meet their basic needs. As the journalists in Ghana are often underpaid, they have to opt for bribery by sacrificing their morals & independent views to meet their needs. In this article, we will discuss media accessibility & challenges in Ghana.
Critics claim that the journalists have to go through hard conditions at times which force them to sacrifice their professionalism. Even if the press is given full freedom by the constitution, the government often restricts the movement of the press that leads to the loss of the neutrality of the press. Media cannot access private issues, like family, property, personal issues due to privacy concerns. It often causes the media to step back from the actual concern which the country should know. For this reason, the government of Ghana is often criticized for its policy & movement that do not allow the media to go where it is needed.
If there is only one reason the media of Ghana is criticized outside the country, it is for the topic of discussion & the subject the journalists report on. It is said that Gossip culture often dominates the media culture in Ghana. And the mass media of Ghana is often tagged as the entertainment unit rather than the information unit. Trivial events often get more coverage to fetch the attention of the common people. This tendency can often be seen among private media houses to make a footprint in the media world. It is also an attempt to strive among the large media powerhouses. They often get financial assistance from political entities that causes losing the essence of media that is neutrality.
A hushed-up problem that is not often discussed in the media of Ghana is that the content is often full of plagiarism. Many journalists choose the path of copying the work of others & do not give the credits to them which are unlawful. On the other hand, online media can often be unauthentic. As we know that internet is full of information & anyone can make a piece of information without judging the authenticity & can publish it. At times, the authors need not be licensed & checked upon. And the Ghanaian reporters often admitted that they use the internet to get information & to publish things. The articles & information are plagiarized as well as sometimes not authentic.
Lack of education
The most challenging factor of the Ghanaian media industry is the lack of education among journalists. They require very less educational qualification to become journalists. Everybody is allowed & can work as journalists. And it often happens that a person without any basic education becomes a journalist. The country has only one school dedicated to journalism where people can get educated & skilled about various things about journalism. The lack of education can often lead to poor or unskilled journalism. The private media houses often recruit uneducated journalists at a lower rate to minimize the cost it bears. This leads to a lack of professionalism among the journalists which in turn caused poor quality reporting. They often take the path of getting bribed to meet the basic needs, and that leads to sacrifice in neutrality.
Though Ghanaian media lacks accessibility in some areas & equipped with challenges, it is one of the main essences of democracy.