Destiny Of Private Newspapers Under Ghana�s Democracy

The media in any civilized society like the United States and Ghana, is responsible for its watchdog role and holds government accountable for its duties. But newspapers in Ghana, just like in most countries, have been polarized into pro-government and those who support the opposition parties. When NPP was in power, private newspapers like �The Daily Guide�, �Crusading Guide�, �The Independent� and the �Ghanaian Observer�, received advertisements from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS). The reporters and other supporting staff received their salaries on time whiles their counterparts from the opposing side went through hell. Newspapers like �Ghana Palaver�, �The Democrat�, �The Catalyst�, �The Enquirer�, and �The Informer�, according to reports found it difficult to pay their workers. Sometimes, funds for publication of an edition were very difficult to come by. They had to rely on the benevolence of some sympathizers behind the scenes for assistance. The tables have turned. The N.D.C is now ruling the country. Their favored private newspapers which have marginal circulation sometimes print colored. The advertisement and subscription from the MDA�S is rampant and the workers� salaries have been reviewed and are paid on time. Peace fm can confirm that newspapers like �The Independent�, �The Heritage� among others, are on the verge of collapse. Their workers have not been paid for months. They had to live on borrowing from friends and families for survival. �The Statesman� folded up a few months after the NDC assumed the reins of leadership. �The Chronicle�, which was the envy of journalists in the country, is now struggling to remain afloat. The prestigious �Daily Guide�, which has the widest circulation apart from Daily Graphic, has reduced its pages from 32 to 16. The adverts are not coming, possibly, redundancy is looming. The mind boggling question is, Could it be attributed to the fanning of sensationalism on their front pages? Low literacy rate? Principles under which the newspapers were set up (Editorial Policy)? Newspaper review segments on Radio stations? Or Politicization of the Newspapers? PEACEFM NEWS sought the views of Professor Kwame Kari Kari of the Media Foundation of West African, who attributed it to the affiliation of newspapers to political parties, although no law restricts the practice. �This behavior often makes these newspapers tell lies in support of bad government policies. In this circumstances even accessing bank loans becomes very difficult�I advice that all private newspaper operators refrain from such acts and also stop following political parties to avoid putting themselves in tight corners wherever there is a change in government,� he counseled.