Ghana hosts World Press Freedom Day 2018
“Keeping power in check: Media, justice and the rule of law” was the global theme of the 25th edition of World Press Freedom Day, which is celebrated every year on May 3. The international conference, co-organised by UNESCO, was hosted this year by the government of Ghana in Accra from 2-3 May in recognition of that country’s independent and pluralistic media landscape. The global event brought together some 700 representatives from civil society, academia, the media and the judiciary. Participants focused on the transparency of the political process, the independence and media literacy of the judicial system and the accountability of state institutions towards the public. According to UNESCO’s statement, the World Press Freedom Day was organised to achieve, adopt and apply laws that would create an enabling environment for the freedom of expression, the right to information and the safety of journalists. Participants also examined new challenges such as press freedom online. Nearly half of the world’s population now has access to the Internet, but reliable and affordable Internet access in African countries remains a key challenge. Some governments notably tend to restrict Internet access during electoral periods. Parallel sessions focused on covering electoral campaigns, national mechanisms for the safety of journalists in Africa and gender-related issues. A youth newsroom and a photo exhibition gave voice to the concerns of young Ghanaians. Ghana is the best-performing African country on the 2018 World Press Freedom Index.