A recent Afrobarometer survey data shows that popular support for media freedom in Ghana has increased sharply, bouncing back to the majority view after a drastic decline recorded in 2017.
In a news release, one of the key findings has it that, “Two-thirds of Ghanaians (65%) say the media should have the right to publish any views and ideas without government restrictions, a 29-percentage-point increase after a sharp dip to 36% in the 2017 survey”.
On the other hand, “3 in 10 respondents (30%) say the government should have the right to prevent publications it disapproves of”.
The news release further noted “a large majority of Ghanaians want the media to constantly investigate and report on government’s mistakes, but very few believe the media is actually free to report news without government interference”.
Another key finding is “Comparing preliminary 2019 data from eight African countries, Ghana recorded the largest increase in support for media freedom and the second-lowest perceived supply of media freedom”.
It also stated that, “Support for the media’s watchdog role remains high. Eight in 10 Ghanaians (82%) say the media should constantly investigate and report on government mistakes and corruption, a 7-percentage-point increase compared to 2014”.
“Amid concerns about aggression and intolerance toward the media, Ghana ranked 30th in the recently released World Press Freedom Index 2020, falling seven places from 23rd position in 2018, and dropping from Africa’s No. 1 spot to third” the news release noted.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, nonpartisan survey research network that provides reliable data on African experiences and evaluations of democracy, governance, and quality of life.
Seven rounds of surveys were completed in 38 countries between 1999 and 2018. Round 8 surveys in 2019/2020 are planned in at least 35 countries. Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples.
The Afrobarometer team in Ghana, led by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), interviewed 2,400 adult Ghanaians between 16 September and 3 October 2019. A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points at a 95% confidence level. Previous surveys were conducted in Ghana in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2017.