11:15 - 12:15
Participatory Paradise
Social activism and Ghanaian media: Inciting change with digital tools


Social media has evolved into a tool for communication, for reportage, for commerce and interactions. However in Ghana, similar to many other countries, it has become a means of activism by the Ghanaian people in recent times. This new awakening, championed by the Ghanaian media, has led to more questions being asked by the people, and the demand for better standards and accountability from political leaders, using digital tools.This session focuses on the progress made in recent times.


In Ghana, the content by state media was previously heavily regulated and it was not until the Fourth republic, with privately owned media, that journalists had the freedom to analyze the affairs of State without fear of political actors.

Instead of the normal practice of Politicians dictating the agenda, some media houses changed the norm to analyzing issues from a nonpartisan angle that prioritizes the truth. This has led to greater understanding of the news and in turn has begun creating a new wave of activism among the Ghanaian people especially in the digital world.

Increased understanding of the issues has led to more questions asked, more analysis of the issues by the general public and more agitation for better standards from elected officials. This new wave has led to increased citizen activism with certain communities staging protests and demonstrations for better roads and infrastructure in their communities when they felt their issues were not getting the urgency it deserved by Government.

The increased investigation and fact checking by the Media has also led to the uncovering of more scandals, increased accountability from Government, Better Policies implemented and increased expectations from elected officials. eg: the Fight against illegal mining in Ghana (known as Galamasy), the media campaign for continuation of the Abandon Hospital Projects, Adenta demonstrations against lack of footbridges, campaign for better emergency systems in Ghana, #RedFridays to advocate for #PasstheRTIBillNow campaign among many others.

This has collaboratively led to more conversations in the digital world, the demand for Better Standards, increased push for accountability and transparency in Government by the Ghanaian people.

In this talk we investigate how the Ghanaian media achieved this and if it can be copied and how the digital world aided this activism and analyse the future of this movement.