Ghana is a West African country, situated along the Atlantic Ocean & gulf of guinea. The country has a population of more than 30 million & it has diversified demography in terms of religion, ethnicity, and race. The country has a rich culture with even stronger media & its accessibility. The history of the media in Ghana dates back to the 19th century. A gazette was published named, Gold coast gazette and commercial intelligencer.
The media of the country plays a major role in maintaining democracy. It is also called the fourth arm of the government. The country had a long battle for independence with colonialism, but it came out stronger due to the strong role of media. The mass media of the country includes various functions, such as, strengthening democracy, educating people, ensuring national prosperity, checking the injustice happening around the country, etc. The mass media includes print media, as well as online media. Print media includes newspapers, journals, magazines, etc. Online media includes e-newspaper, the internet, blogs, etc. In this article, we will discuss the print media & the online media in Ghana & how they matter in maintaining democracy.
Print Media Vs Online Media History
After the election of 2000, the difference between government & private media decreased gradually. Then elected president John Kufuor was a supporter of press freedom. The Ghanaian media was called the most unfettered in the African region. The private media was often signified as the government protestor by the ruler. The media has helped to foster democracy in the country. The media often had forced the government to act on its accountability, and also made the government officials accept their fault.
Ghana was one of the first countries in the African Region to have internet accessibility. As per the last data of 2012, more than 4.2 million populations use the internet, which is 17% of the total population. Several companies ensure good telecommunication access in the country, to name a few, Microsoft, Bharti airtel, Huawei, etc. Online media impact can be possible only when a significant amount of people will have the access to good internet connectivity. The impact of online media can only be measured with efficient & wide-reaching telecommunication, even in the remotest places.
Print Media Vs Online Media Names
Print media include newspapers, gazettes, journals, magazines. There are many print media active in the country, to name a few, daily graphics, Ghanaian times, daily guide, chronicle, daily democrat, daily dispatch, daily post, new crusading guide, & many more.
Many broadcast stations have a large impact on media penetration in the country. Earlier there was only seven broadcast station, but with time there is now Ghana broadcasting corporation along with four private channels, TV3, Viasat 1, Metro TV, and TV Africa. There are a few foreign stations accessible in the country as well, such as CNN & BBC, they are freely accessible to the common people.
There are other broadcasting media other than TV channels, which are quite popular in Ghana, i.e., Radio channels, to name a few, the voice of America, Radio France international. Private channels like Radio Eye. Newly launched radio channels like Ghana Talk Radio, have made their way to the drawing of the room of common people.
Print Media Vs Online Media Freedom of Media
Although the constitution of Ghana has provided freedom of speech & the elected presidents in recent years have also encouraged press freedom, the government often restricts the media from entering a few places & covering sensitive and controversial issues. The government prohibits & arrests journalists from capturing privacy, home & family in lieu with the constitution itself,
On the other hand, television was under the control of the government until 1965. The Ghana broadcasting corporation had a monopoly over the television until 1994. The government even had control over the radio stations that led to broadcast pluralism later in 2007. Many Ghanaian entrepreneurs have helped the mass media to achieve freedom as they have now.
There might be a lot of difference in terms of history, establishment, and accessibility between print media & online media. But the role of the government for both of the mediums of news is the same.