Index 2024
113/ 180
Score : 50.89
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
70/ 180
Score : 63.06
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

Despite a bloated media landscape, state media still struggle to provide public service information in Togo. The degree of press freedom depends on the political environment.

Media landscape

With 234 newspapers and magazines, 94 radio stations and a dozen television channels, Togo has a rich media landscape. The privately owned daily Liberté is one of the most widely read newspapers, while the bi-weeklies L'Alternative and L’Union pour la Patrie are also well respected. The only state-owned television network, Télévision Togolaise (TVT), remains the most popular. Despite the richness of the media landscape and the emergence of new online media, few are free of political influence. Liberté was suspended for one month in 2023 and the independent investigative publication L’Alternative was forced to suspend operations temporarily and remains in the authorities’ sights. 

Political context

TIn Togo, the press freedom situation depends on the political environment. During election campaigns, self-censorship is widely practiced by journalists, who are subject to pressure from both the government and the opposition. The government and politicians exercise a great deal of influence over how news is handled. The ruling party appoints and can dismiss all directors of state-owned media, as well as the president of the media regulatory agency. The authorities attack critical journalists and media outlets, through lawsuits, suspensions and cyberespionage. 

Legal framework

Freedom of the press is recognised and guaranteed by the state. Violations of the press law have not been punishable by imprisonment since 2004, but the law is often circumvented when articles concern senior political leaders. A law adopted in 2020 guarantees journalistic independence and access to information, as long as “defence secrets” are respected. Nonetheless, information is still difficult for journalists to access, in particular for those working for privately owned media outlets critical of the authorities, especially when the information concerns the government. 

Economic context

Togo’s media are facing major financial problems, which foster corruption and prevent them from operating freely and independently. It is easy to create a news website or newspaper but it is much more complicated to launch a radio station or TV channel. The Togolese Media Observatory, a moral authority at the highest regulatory level, does not have the funding to be genuinely effective.

Sociocultural context

While journalists can cover most social issues without fear of reprisals, they prefer to avoid topics regarded as taboo, such as corruption, military affairs, and the president and his family.


Journalists’ safety remains a concern in Togo, especially for those who investigate corruption or the government’s actions. They may be subjected to significant reprisals, as seen in March 2023 when international arrest warrants were issued for two journalists after they were convicted in absentia of “contempt of authority”. Journalists are often pressured or offered benefits to toe the government line. If they resist, they are subjected to close surveillance and are sometimes victims of cyberespionage on their mobile phones, for example via the Pegasus spyware. Threats of closure or suspension of media outlets worry journalists.