Investigative journalist par excellence, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has paid glowing homage to the pioneers of investigative journalism in the country, as well as those who have in diverse ways mentored him through the undercover journalism ladder.
He specifically mentioned his boss, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako, Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading GUIDE, Kwesi Pratt Jnr., Managing Editor of the Insight, Nana Kofi Coomson, Publisher of Chronicle, the late Tommy Thompson, former Editor of the defunct Free Press newspaper, and Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, at the School of Communication at the University of Ghana, for praise.
The multiple award-wining journalist said he learnt his fight for media freedom directly under the formidable and energetic hands of Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako and also from Nana Kofi Coomson as well as Kwesi Pratt, amongst others.
He said “I grew up in a military barracks and it happened to be interesting in Ghana’s history. This is because I saw how the military and civil society consolidated media freedom. Then I left the barracks to join my newspaper, The New Crusading GUIDE and learnt under the formidable and energetic hands of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, and the likes of Kwesi Pratt, Kofi Coomson, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo and many others”.
Anas continued: “We learnt how to fight for media freedom, learnt to ensure and consolidate the democracy Ghana had. Moving on, I grew up and then became partners with Al Jazeera, BBC, and many other international channels and then I realized that my notion of media freedom was changing. What was it? I and my team had a project with The BBC African Eye. We had a very important story to tell in Malawi, so we got together. It was a human interest story. We took all the security gadgets that we needed but that same story remains the dangerous story I have taken part in.”
He was speaking at this year’s Global Conference for Media Freedom co-hosted by UK Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt and Canadian Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland, where he mounted the same platform with many other heavyweights in the international media.
World Press Freedom Day
The United Nations General Assembly declared May 3 to be World Press Freedom Day or just World Press Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press.
The day is set aside to also remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It also marks the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in Windhoek in 1991.
Force for progress
In his speech, the UK Foreign Secretary declared that “…media freedom is not a ‘Western’ value, still less a colonial-style imposition, but instead a force for progress from which everyone benefits.”
He noted: “The Indian Nobel Laureate, Amartya Sen, defined the ‘expansion of freedom’ as what he called the ‘pre-eminent objective’ of development.”