Remarks Delivered by- Press Attaché Kevin Brosnahan
2022 World Press Freedom Day Event
Wednesday, May 4, 2022, 10:00 am
International Press Centre, Accra, Ghana
It’s a pleasure to be here today to commemorate one of our most fundamental and treasured democratic values: press freedom. To the members and leadership of GJA here today, thank you for your kind invitation and for the work that you do.
World Press Freedom Day is a day to remind governments of their commitments to press freedom and to support journalists who are targets for abuse or mistreatment. It’s also a day to remember those who have lost their lives in the pursuit of truth.
A safe, free, professional, and responsible media supports democratic principles. It also informs current public policy debates so that voters can make informed decisions.
Without a free press, few democracies could survive. Journalists shed light on both the positive and negative aspects of public policy and contribute to accountable governance. You, as journalists, have a critically important role to play. Who else can help the public understand, discuss, and assess public policies? Who else can help the public hold government accountable for its policies?
The U.S. government is a proud supporter of press freedom. GJA is just one example of the organizations we partner with to advocate for press freedom, protect journalists, recognize strong reporting, and develop journalism as a profession.
GJA has been a leading voice in Ghana for responsible journalism, press freedom, and protection of journalists. I congratulate GJA for its steadfast commitment. There are many Ghanaian journalists working to fight corruption, hold the government accountable, and call out abuse and injustice. This often comes at great personal risk.
We have seen multiple arrests of journalists in Ghana for their reporting. This is concerning for many reasons. Of course, the government has a role to play in protecting public safety.
And at the same time, journalists need to have the space to report legitimately sourced stories without intimidation or harassment. But media practitioners also have the responsibility to guard against misinformation and disinformation. Better to publish late and accurately, than first and falsely.
It’s been more than three years since the murder of investigative journalist Ahmed Hussein-Suale. The case has not been solved. His murderers are free.
Today, we honor his memory by advocating for justice and for protecting journalists from intimidation, abuse, and violence in pursuit of the truth. In his honor, we also invest in quality journalism.
Today we are pleased to announce our support for three new projects to promote stronger journalism here in Ghana:
- First, we will work with the Media Foundation for West Africa to support a fact checking fellowship for ten young journalists entering the field.
- Second, we will continue our collaboration with YALI TV to promote fair and equitable reporting on people with disabilities and the challenges they face.
- And finally, we will work with Dubawa Ghana to support fact checking training for journalists in rural communities.
These projects represent our continued support for responsible, inclusive, and professional journalism that protects and advances our democratic principles.
The United States is an ardent defender of a free and responsible press. And our support will not stop! We look forward to deepening our collaborations with Ghana to support a safe, free, professional, and responsible media.
Thank you to GJA. Congratulations on this event and for your support of press freedom.