Donkor: A Case Study of the Safety of Journalists in Ghana

Africanus L Diedong


This paper argues that the safety of journalists in Ghana can no longer be taken for granted given the available evidence of physical attacks on journalists (Joint Statement NMC et al., 2016 and MFWA, 2016). The overarching objective of the study is to portray Donkor’s case as typical of similar cases in Ghana and beyond and highlight the implications of attacks on journalists. In the past decade or so, physical attacks on journalist have been the most prevalent form of violation against journalists in Ghana. In this essay, a single case study of Donkor is examined together with relevant documents as the tip of an iceberg to demonstrate and paint a picture of the harrowing and degrading experience of physical and other forms of attacks against journalists in Ghana and its implications for safeguarding press freedom and the fundamental human rights of people. The incidence of attacks against journalists and how such perpetrators often go unpunished, though not a phenomenon peculiar only to Ghana, needs serious interrogation given the latitude of freedom of the media guaranteed in the 1992 fourth republican Constitution of Ghana. It is pertinent to ask: how far have stakeholders contributed to the promotion of journalists’ safety as prescribed in UNESCO’s Safety of Journalists Document? While chronicling some instances of actions, which tend to endanger the lives of journalists in the line of duty, I would conclude that a concerted effort is required to enable journalists, the public, civil society organisations, international organisations and state institutions to initiate strategic actions aimed at tackling the problem.


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