The Fourth Estate is a non-profit, public interest and accountability investigative journalism project of the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). Our aim is to promote independent and critical research-based journalism that holds those in power answerable to the people they govern.
Our focus is the fight against corruption, especially in the public sector. The project, which is based in Ghana, prioritises quality investigative and in-depth reporting in the areas of governance, environment, health and human rights. We aim to promote transparency, accountability and due process in these areas through independent, in-depth journalism. We also aim to routinely highlight critical issues affecting people’s lives, shape public policy, empower people and restore public trust and confidence in journalism.
The Fourth Estate is a response to state actors’ ever-tightening noose around the neck of critical journalism, which robs them of the freedom to freely carry out their watchdog role. Economic and other considerations also undermine the media’s watchdog role of holding the government accountable to the people, an unfortunate development which causes public confidence in the media to wane.
An Afrobarometer report published on May 2, 2019, revealed that even though media freedom was on the decline in Africa as a whole, the situation in West Africa was particularly worrying. The report noted that compared with other regions on the continent, public support for media freedom was lowest in West Africa, the only region where the majority of the public (57%) said they would support media censorships by governments.
The Team: Our team is composed of seasoned journalists as well as a cadre of well-trained and highly motivated young journalists who are eager to help improve society and lives through ethical, fearless and impactful journalism.
The Project is funded through grants received by the MFWA as part of its media and good governance programme. Thus, our newsroom is completely insulated from any possible control by government and/or commercial interests because we do not depend on government or commercial entities for advertising or other sources of funding.
Our team of journalists works under the guidance of an editorial board made up of accomplished and experienced former journalists/editors, journalism academics and a lawyer, that reviews and validates all reports before publication.
Channels of Publication
The main mediums of broadcast are the website and YouTube Channel of The Fourth Estate.
We also have content distribution agreements with credible media outlets, notably The Multimedia Group.