Togo: New press code set to come into effect on January 7

Economic governance
Thursday, 05 January 2023 10:06
Togo: New press code set to come into effect on January 7

(Togo First) - Togo’s new press code will come into force on January 7, 2023. It was adopted in 2020 but its implementation was delayed to give press actors enough time to adapt to the changes it brings.

These changes include, notably, the conditions to be recognized as a journalist in Togo, the creation of "press companies" instead of "organs" of the press, the decriminalization of press offenses, and the rights and duties of journalists.

According to the new code, a journalist, to be recognized as such, must either hold a professional diploma in journalism issued by a State-accreditated journalism college or training institute; or have at least a bachelor's degree or an equivalent diploma recognized by the State with a minimum professional experience of three years, or five years (for those without a bachelor), working as a journalist in a media company.

The code also bars communication officers, public relations officers, or anyone in a similar position, from working as a journalist. It also enshrines the principle of state support for the press and creates a fund to support the press sector.

Let it be recalled that in October 2022, the Togolese government signed with representatives of the private sector (leaders of trade unions and employers' organizations of the private press in Togo), a collective agreement for journalists and media professionals in Togo. The move which ended years of negotiations started after the general states of the press, in 2014, was a major milestone in updating of Togo’s press regulatory framework.

Ayi Renaud Dossavi

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