Togo moves 10 places in RSF’s press freedom rankings

Justice
Monday, 22 April 2019 13:37
Togo moves 10 places in RSF’s press freedom rankings

(Togo First) - Out of 180 countries, Togo is 76th on the 2019 press freedom rankings released April 18, 2018. The country thus jumped ten places in the rankings with an increase of 0.54pt in its score.

Press offenses have been depenalized since 2004 and professional journalism organs now have a great capacity to defend the press when it is attacked,” says Reporter Sans Frontière (RSF). 

Commenting on tensions in mid-2017 spurred by socio-political conflicts and the government’s response to these, the NGO declared : “the situation has calmed down a little and the number of attacks against journalists is decreasing, drastically.   

This year, in Togo, no journalists were killed or arrested, according to RSF’s barometer.

However, the study highlights the strong exposure of media to politics ahead of local and presidential elections respectively in 2019 and 2020.

Another issue is that State media are struggling to “provide real news serving the public,” in an industry counting 171 newspapers, 74 radio stations and 10 TV stations.

Professionalization of journalism, a real challenge to media viability

Major challenges in the way of the future press code under evaluation is the sector’s professionalization – during protests mainly – and access to more funds to ensure the media’s economic viability ; and the protection of journalists and their sources.” The above-mentioned code, according to RSF, is a beacon of hope for the industry.

Overall, the NGO found that press freedom keeps declining in many countries and “safe” zones are getting scarce. Only 24% of the 180 nations on the index have a “good” or “relatively good” environment for press freedom, against 26% in 2018.

In Africa, no country has a “good” situation and only four have a “relatively good” one, in relation to press freedom. Togo is under the second category.

 
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