Index 2024
65/ 180
Score : 63.14
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
55/ 180
Score : 68.62
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

Although freedom of the press is guaranteed by the constitution, the government, the Orthodox Church and business interests have significant influence over the media in Cyprus. The long-standing dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots also has a significant impact on how the media operate.

Media landscape

Cyprus has several daily newspapers (including PhileleftherosAlithia and Haravghi), weekly newspapers, TV channels and radio stations. But two of the four largest newspapers are affiliated with political parties. Direct interference in editorial decisions, growing media concentration and lack of transparency in print and digital media ownership have undermined media pluralism and have pushed journalists towards self-censorship. 

Political context

Although journalists’ physical integrity and safety are not threatened, the media are subjected to verbal attacks by politicians, which contributes to hampering freedom of expression. Informal relationships between politicians and media owners reinforce direct interference in editorial work, as does a widespread sense of duty and loyalty to the government on the Cyprus issue. The government appoints the public broadcaster’s board of directors.

Legal framework

Defamation is not a crime, but the attorney general can authorise criminal proceedings against a media outlet. There are regulatory safeguards for the protection of sources and editorial autonomy is guaranteed, but mechanisms or procedures to protect journalists and prevent political interference are limited. The law protects private communications, but there are no clear rules on the use of interception devices for national security reasons. Civil libel lawsuits contribute to self-censorship and discourage investigative journalism.

Economic context

The tight advertising market and the recent economic crisis have made the the media increasingly vulnerable to the influence of commercial interests. Many media owners have other business interests and are directly involved in politics. The media’s reliance on advertising and financial support has increased private sector influence over editorial content. The fact that private media depend on state subsidies, allocated in a non-transparent manner, and that state radio and television depends on public financing, threatens editorial independence and encourages self-cesorship.

Sociocultural context

The Cyprus issue is taboo and all journalists are expected to have a duty of loyalty to the government on this subject. Reporters who question the official line are often labeled “traitors”. The state also bans the use of certain terms related to the Cyprus problem.


No journalist has been detained arbitrarily or murdered. But the media are sometimes subjected to verbal attacks by officials, which affects freedom of expression. Although there are no serious physical threats or attacks, journalists are often victims of online harassment. There have been allegations of state surveillance and hacking into the devices and electronic files of a journalist who wrote a book about corruption, but the police investigation failed to produce any results.

Abuses in real time in Cyprus

Killed since 1st January 2024
0 journalists
0 media workers
Detained as of today
0 journalists
0 media workers