Index 2024
143/ 180
Score : 40.59
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
149/ 180
Score : 40.22
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

Since the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been mired in a deep crisis. Media and journalists often find themselves forced to serve one of the parties to the conflict, to the detriment of editorial independence.

Media landscape

Libya is a true information black hole. Most media outlets and reporters have fled the country. Those who remain try to ensure their safety by working under the protection of one of the warring factions, and foreign journalists can no longer cover the situation. Traditional media, having taken sides in the conflict, can no longer play their role of ensuring free, independent, and balanced reporting that reflects the real issues facing Libyan society, especially the aspirations of young people. The latter turn to social media for open dialogue, but it’s a platform that is conducive to radicalisation and the dissemination of hate speech. Several initiatives aimed at promoting a new, more independent media model have nonetheless emerged.

Political context

After a decade punctuated by armed conflicts against a backdrop of underlying  civil war, a ceasefire was signed in March 2021 under the aegis of the UN supervision between supporters of the former government of national unity in Tripoli and the Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Haftar. The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) brought the warring parties together in Geneva for talks that resulted in the appointment of businessman Abdul Hamid Dbeibah as head of a new national unity government tasked with leading the country towards its first general elections, which are repeatedly postponed. Journalists are usually forced to conform to the biases of the media they work for, leading to chronic disinformation, while corruption is also widespread. In the East of the country, journalists are subject to the power of Field Marshal Haftar and cannot criticise the military.

Legal framework

No regulatory agency or framework law guarantees access to information, or respect for media pluralism and transparency. No law guarantees freedom of expression, journalists’ safety or the right to reliable information. Some laws currently in force concerning freedom of expression are more than 50 years old. Press offences are punishable by imprisonment.

Economic context

The financing of privately owned media depends on advertising revenue from groups led by businessmen allied with political leaders. Collusion between politicians and the media, as well as the non-transparency of advertising contracts, undermine the independence of the media and journalists. The latter have no job security and can be dismissed arbitrarily at the whim of their employer.


Journalists have for years been the target of intimidation, physical violence, and moral harassment, though the situation seems to have improved since 2021. Such abuses are all the more frequent as they benefit from total impunity. Militias often threaten media professionals, who can be subject to attacks and imprisonment. Both in the east and the west of the country, those who control the authorities have managed, via their armed factions, to sow fear among journalists and have ended up eliminating media independence in Libya.