Ghana has a lively and active media industry, regulated by an independent body, the National Media Commission (NMC). The Media Foundation for West Africa has released a report that highlights the trends in news and the state of media in the country.
Financial viability of media
- It is under threat as most organisations are not profitable.
- Ghanaian media are looking for new business models such as digitisation, conglomeration, events marketing and crowdfunding.
- Digital technologies are fast-changing media financing models in Ghana and have become a major source of income.
- Media is unstructured and unregulated, with many journalists working without contracts and with low salaries, with some working long months without pay.
- Media employees do not have healthcare nor do they receive proper counselling.
Media ownership and regulation
- In Ghana, media pluralism has not necessarily served the public interest.
- Political faces behind broadcast media ownership mean that partisan actors and governments can control public discourse.
- The current regime for broadcast regulation allows considerable power and influence to those whose conduct the media are supposed to check.
Safety of journalists
- There is a growing sense of insecurity among journalists in Ghana.
- Investigative journalists are the most at risk of attacks.
- State actors, including political appointees and police, are the worst perpetrators of attacks on journalists.
- Journalists feel that law enforcement agencies and the judiciary do little to protect their safety.
- Journalists in Ghana have a clear understanding of their position in society and their role as watchdogs of society and as collaborators in nation-building.
- There seems to be a disconnect between role conception and performance.
- Factors such as ownership influence, journalistic routines, gatekeeper influence as well as advertiser influences interfere with journalists’ ability to deliver to the demands of their role conceptions.
- Ethical breaches such as one-sided reportage, and failure to verify news were major challenges to professional practice.
Read the full report here.
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