Freelance journalist Manasseh Azure says the freedom and tolerance the media enjoyed under past Presidents must continue under President Akufo-Addo.
Ever since President Akufo-Addo became leader, some have made reference to the fact that the media has lost it’s freedom, this the NPP government has continuously brushed off.
Former President John Mahama in May this year said Ghana dropping seven places on the global ranking when it comes to press freedom should not only be a source of worry to journalists and media owners but to citizens as well.
Manasseh Azure Awuni speaking at the 2020 Baah-Wiredu Memorial Lecture is at the Kofi Annan Centre for ICT Excellence, in Accra said there was media tolerance under John Agyekum Kufuor, John Evans Atta Mills and John Mahama and that freedom must continue.
“The pressure on media houses has increased and media owners who can’t handle them transfer such pressures to journalists. Things like these do not only undermine press freedom but scare potential investigative journalist and corruption fighters from joining what is generally becoming a tactless adventure. It is unfortunate that all these are happening in the administration of Akufo-Addo who was marketed to us as a staunch human right campaigner of free speech, if he is re-elected in December he should be mindful that it is unacceptable that his record in press freedom should still be touted as a repeal to the Criminal Libel law. We know the tolerance the media got under John Agyekum Kufuor, John Evans Atta Mills and under John Mahama and that free speech must continue and Akufo-Addo must carve a niche for himself”
This year’s Baah-Wiredu Memorial lecture is titled; “Protecting the Public Purse – the Media and Fighting Corruption in the 4th Republic of Ghana”, which will be delivered by ace undercover journalist Manasseh Azure Awuni.
The Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu Memorial Lecture has been held annually since its inception in 2014 to commemorate the life and works of Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, a chartered accountant, politician, and public servant who died in office while serving as Ghana’s Finance Minister under the erstwhile Kuffuor administration.
One of his many beliefs was that “Public Service was an honour and recognition which was to be reciprocated through excellence in performance and training at all times”
This year’s lecture seeks to explore how the media holds the government of the day accountable and ensures transparency in this 4th Republic.
The event is being chaired by Professor Audrey Gadzekpo of the School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana, Legon.