Africa as a continent has been suffering some sort of media censorship for decades.This is where the media is prevented from giving information to the public.Media censorship can also mean the suppression of information from reaching citizens.
Meanwhile the media is veritable too for information dissemination or the gate keeper in the society.
Media censorship can be done by anyone including government, private organizations or even the creator of the work or the individual involve. If the individual censor their own work, it is called Self censorship in which the individual fears the potential punishment or backlash associated with their original piece of work. In Africa, Self censorship seems to be the most common form of restraint next to political censorship.
At the ongoing African journalist for economic opportunity training (AJEOT 2019) at Summit Lodge Koforidua in the Eastern part of Ghana, the vice president and Director for research of AJEOT Evans B. Boampong elaborated on media censorship in Africa. Press freedom has historically been a contentious issue in many African countries.
Since the inception of world press freedom index in 2013 many African countries have struggled to climb up the ranks despite improvement by some countries in terms of press freedom.
For instance countries like Eritrea, the media are totally subjected to the whims of government only the state media share news to the populace and the horrific aspect of all is less than 1% of the population can access the internet. Journalists are currently detained without being charged or tried about corruption issue. In April 2016, Eritrea blocked Facebook and some social media for a month.
To talk of Nigeria, the press freedom is not complete but to some degree (partly) which don’t give the media a free room to deliver its mandate. Also in Nigeria the passing of Cyber Crime Act 2015 has violated the right to privacy and freedom of expression but rather protect the politicians.
Furthermore, another African country Zimbabwe is also facing series of media censorship where the government screens all information before presenting them to the populace. Ghana cannot be left out in terms of media censorship because most media outlets are being owned by political figures which are likely to censor information.
For some years now Ghanaian journalists have been subjected to brutality, for instance, Ohemaa Sakyiwa of Adom FM, Ghanaman Wofaase Akwasi Addo Pink fm news editor whilst Abanga of Success FM Goaso and also Peace FM correspondent in the Brong Ahafo region and Ahmed Suale of Tiger Eye PI who was murdered in cold blood in the course of uncovering the truth. Others too have been neutrally wounded and assaulted.
However, Kenya as an African country is a good example of a free internet experience, blogging is popular and there is defined court process for removing defamatory contents that needed a commendation.
Therefore media censorship is dangerous to every nation because it keeps the ignorant always in the state of ignorance, they are been deprived of their right to information, violation of freedom of expression etc.
To curb this media censorship, the media has to speak freely and fearlessly about concrete conditions in their own states as well as other states. The media must also be an instrument for informing and mobilizing the people about their rights and obligations which calls for a collective efforts.
Story by:Emmanuela Naadu Lartey/pinkfmonlinegh.com