Who owns the Media in Ghana ?

first_img A lack of transparency and limited access to ownership information prevail in the media industry in Ghana. Conflicts of interest between media owners and politicians, and a weak regulatory system further pose a threat to freedom of expression in the country. These are key results of the three-month long investigative research that the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have jointly conducted. The resulting “Media Ownership Monitor” maps who owns and ultimately controls Ghanaian mass media. News GhanaAfrica Activities in the fieldReports and statisticsMedia independenceEvents Conflicts of interestEconomic pressureFreedom of expression April 9, 2020 Find out more to go further Follow the news on Ghana A publicly available website features a database of major media outlets, companies, and their owners, including comprehensive information about the media landscape in the country. The findings of the project are presented today, 25 July 2017, at a high-level media forum in Accra. “The Media Ownership Monitor provides an unprecedented transparency of the Ghanaian media market. This is a prerequisite for holding our institutions accountable and for developing meaningful regulatory safeguards that will ensure media pluralism in the long-run,” commented Sulemana Braimah, Executive Director at MFWA, on the rationale of the study. “The Media Ownership Monitor in Ghana shows that a high number of TV outlets, radio channels or newspapers, does not necessarily mean a pluralistic media landscape. When the audience turns towards only few media outlets to get informed, a handful of media owners potentially gain considerable influence over public opinion,” added Lisa-Maria Kretschmer, RSF Project Manager. High audience concentration in print and TV The Media Ownership Monitor (MOM) reveals a high level of audience concentration in various media sectors. An almost maximum concentration was found among the printed press, where the top four media companies (Graphic Communications Group Limited, New Times Corporation, Western Publications Limited, Business and Financial Times Limited) together reach 95.9% of the readership. Three out of four readers (72.1%) choose a state-run newspaper for information or entertainment.. Private companies on the other hand dominate the broadcasting sector. A high concentration exists in the TV segment, where the top four owners (Multimedia Group, Osei Kwame with U2 Company Ltd. /Despite Group of Companies, TV3 Network/ Media General Ghana Limited, state-owned Ghana Broadcasting Corporation) represent an audience share of 77.4%. The radio market is more diverse and ‘market leaders’ differ from region to region. Again the Multimedia Group and the Despite Group of Companies have a considerable market position by operating several nationwide outlets. All in all, radio shows a medium level of audience concentration around the four market leaders that together deliver news to 44.8% of the listenership. Inconsistent and non-transparent ownership information For a third of the analyzed media outlets, ownership data was unavailable at the Registrar General’s Department, where all business entities are obliged to register and from where information has to be released upon request. In those cases where data was available, it turned out to be incomplete, at times obviously outdated, with either changes in ownership not recorded, or inconsistent with other public information e.g. from the National Communication Authority (NCA). In some cases, media outlets were registered to a certain company at the National Communication Authority but now operate under the umbrella of a media group by their own accounts. This made it difficult to assert the legal status of some media holdings, for example of the Multimedia Group Ltd., as well as their relations to subsidiaries. The low level of transparency disguises market powers and complicates or even inhibits meaningful regulation of media concentration. High-level politicians with ties to the media Out of the monitored media outlets, a third are either state-owned or have shareholders with political affiliations, amongst them high-level politicians. For example, the acting Chairman of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Frederick Blay, is a majority shareowner of Western Publications Ltd., publisher of Daily Guide and News One newspapers. Dr. Kwabena Duffour, the listed shareowner of the Excellence in Broadcasting Group Ltd., was former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in the erstwhile National Democratic Congress government. Also the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Communications – the body where legal steps concerning the media sector are initiated and discussed -, Kennedy Aqyepong, has direct ties to the media through his wife, who controls Oman FM and Net 2 TV as a CEO. Women underrepresented in media houses The research findings illustrate the extent to which Ghanaian media ownership and management is male-dominated. Out of the 25 monitored media companies, only two have female owners: Stella Wilson Agyepong for Oman FM Limited and Edith Dankwa for Business and Financial Times Limited. GAB Productions Ltd. and Western Publication Ltd. list a woman as minority shareowner. Both are wives of the majority shareholder of the respective companies. Women also rarely hold management positions: out of the 21 identifiable CEO’s, only three are female: Edith Dankwah for Business and Financial Times Ltd., Carol Anang for state-owned New Times Corporation, and Gina Blay for Western Publications. The gender ratio for board members of media organizations shows a similar picture. Weak regulatory system Scarce and incomplete ownership information as well as conflicts of interest between politics and ownership are phenomena that illustrate a prevailing weakness of the regulatory system. No safeguards are in place to prevent or curb media concentration, or inhibit political control over media ownership. Transparency regulation is partly in place, as the Companies Act was amended with beneficial ownership provisions last year. However, while comprehensive information on ultimate beneficial owners is supposed to be available for all companies during regular office hours, research at the Registrar General’s Department found a low level of compliance. “The results of the Media Ownership Monitor emphasize again that the passage of a Broadcasting Law that provides both safeguards against media concentration as well as against political influence in the media is long overdue. This project sets the tone for an informed debate on the next steps to be taken”, concludes Sulemana Braimah. MEDIA OWNERSHIP MONITOR: A GLOBAL RESEARCH PROJECT Initiated by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Media Ownership Monitor project is a global research and advocacy project to promote transparency and media pluralism at an international level. In Ghana, it was conducted together with the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). The project is financed by the German government. Country studies were so far published in Colombia, Cambodia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Peru, the Philippines ,and Mongolia. In addition to Ghana, this year, MOM investigates media markets in Serbia, Brazil, Pakistan and Morocco. For more information visit the MOM website: http://www.mom-rsf.org Media Contacts: Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) P.O. Box LG 730, Legon, Ghana. Tel: 233 302242470. Tel/Fax: 233 302221084 Email: [email protected], Website: www.mfwa.org Reporters Without Borders Germany / MOM Ghana project manager Email: Lisa-Maria Kretschmer [email protected] Tel.: +233-050-3240759 Help by sharing this information Organisation The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa Receive email alerts April 6, 2020 Find out more Reports GhanaAfrica Activities in the fieldReports and statisticsMedia independenceEvents Conflicts of interestEconomic pressureFreedom of expression November 27, 2020 Find out more July 25, 2017 Who owns the Media in Ghana ? Ghana urged to ensure safety of reporters covering Covid-19 RSF_en News News Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continentlast_img read more

IOC bans 11 Russian athletes for life

first_imgEleven Russian athletes have been banned from the Olympics for life after committing doping offences at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.Silver medal-winning lugers Tatyana Ivanova and Albert Demchenko are among those to have been disqualified.The others include bobsledders, speed skaters and ice hockey players.The bans come as a result of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) investigations into the country’s doping scandal.The IOC announced the first Russian bans, based on the findings of the 2016 McLaren report, on 1 November.”To date, the number of cases opened by the [IOC] disciplinary commission [for Sochi 2014] has reached 46 after additional findings from the re-analyses,” the IOC said. “All 46 of them have been handled, of which three have been filed. As some investigations are still ongoing [notably the forensic analysis of the bottles], it cannot be excluded that there might be new elements that would justify opening further new cases and holding more hearings.”The 11 athletes banned on 22 December:Tatyana Ivanova and Albert Demchenko, lugersIvan Skobrev and Artyom Kuznetsov, speed skatersNikita Kryukov, Alexander Bessmertnykh and Natalia Matveeva, cross-country skiers Liudmila Udobkina and Maxim Belugin, bobsleddersTatiana Burina and Anna Shchukina, ice hockey playerslast_img read more