Ghana’s Investigative Journalism In Danger? MP Raises Concerns
Member of Parliament for Akim Oda, Alexander Akwasi Acquah, has warned against any move to stifle investigative journalism in Ghana.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, March 18, the MP stated that investigative journalism is crucial to the country’s development and democracy. He went on to say that the country would be doomed the very day investigative journalism is stopped.
The MP’s comments come in the wake of the Accra High Court’s decision to dismiss a GH¢25 million defamation suit brought by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas against New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmaker Kennedy Ohene Agyapong.
Anas had accused Agyapong of defaming him by airing the documentary – “Who watches the watchman” – but the judge, Justice Eric Baah, held that the documentary exposed shady deals that Anas and his associates were involved in.
The court concluded that what Anas is engaged in is not investigative journalism but rather “investigative terrorism” and that Agyapong was justified to call Anas “a blackmailer, corrupt, an extortionist, and evil”.
Anas disagreed with the judge’s ruling and accused him of delving into the arena of criminal prosecution against him despite the matter being a civil case.
Acquah’s warning is timely and necessary as investigative journalism is crucial in holding government officials accountable and ensuring transparency in governance.
It is also essential in exposing corruption and human rights abuses, which can have far-reaching consequences for the country’s development and stability.
It is, therefore, important for the government to protect and support investigative journalists and ensure that they are not intimidated or persecuted for carrying out their work.
Journalists must be allowed to work freely without fear of retribution from those in power.
This can only be achieved through the enactment of laws that protect the freedom of the press and ensure that journalists are not harassed or intimidated by state actors.
In conclusion, the role of investigative journalism in Ghana cannot be overstated. It is crucial to the country’s development and democracy.
The government must, therefore, take measures to protect and support investigative journalists to ensure that they can carry out their work without fear or hindrance. Any attempt to stifle investigative journalism would be a blow to democracy and the country’s development.