Government has attributed Ghana’s poor ranking in the Reporters Without Borders 2022 World Press Freedom Index to a change in the methodology.
Ghana has been ranked 60th in the world from an initial 30th position, the country’s lowest in nearly two decades.
Ghana has also recorded its worst ranking on the African continent this year, moving from 3rd to 10th in Africa.
The Information Ministry in a statement issued on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, said it welcomes the RSF report as a baseline reference document against which press freedom in the country may be gauged in the coming years.
The government statement however focused heavily on the methodology used by RSF in the ranking, noting that the change in methodology significantly accounted for the drop.
It cited the drop in ranking for a number of countries including the Netherlands which dropped from 5th in 2021 to 28th in 2022 in the global ranking.
“Due to this development, four (4) of the countries (Netherlands, Jamaica, Switzerland, and New Zealand) that ranked top ten (10) in 2021 significantly dropped in ranking, slumping out of the top ten (10) in the year under review.”
“It is worthy of note that Ghana’s dip in ranking was largely influenced by two of the new parameters, namely, the Economic Context and Safety of Journalists where the country scored 47.22% and 62.25% respectively.”
Regarding the safety of journalists, government noted that an activity that may feed into the assessment of press freedom includes actions by non-state actors.
“It is also striking that the new report took into consideration the effect of opinion media, propaganda, disinformation, and fake news and their adverse impact on press freedom ranking for affected countries. This is a result of growing political and social tensions leading to information distortions and the publication of false news, particularly across social media platforms,” it added.
Government further indicated that it is set to roll out strategic plans to improve Ghana’s image on the international press freedom index.