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.

Key findings

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.

Working conditions 

  • 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.

Professional practice

  • 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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