Togo tumbles 26 places in the latest World Press Freedom Index

Public Management
Friday, 06 May 2022 14:37
Togo tumbles 26 places in the latest World Press Freedom Index

(Togo First) - Togo lost 26 places in the latest press freedom ranking of the French NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The significant drop comes amidst “a two-fold increase in polarization amplified by information chaos” in the report which assesses the state of journalism in 180 countries and territories.

The West African country was ranked 100 over 180 with a score of 57.17 this year, thus dropping from the 74th place and a score of 70.41 in 2021. From a “relatively good” situation, Togo thus fell in the “problematic situation” category in the index which was published on the World Press Freedom Day. 

Media polarization, the NGO said, is fuelling divisions within countries, as well as polarization between countries at the international level. In Togo, the press faced major challenges over the period reviewed, notably economic (induced by the pandemic) and legal challenges.  

RSF scores countries based on a quantitative survey of press freedom violations and abuses against journalists and media, and a qualitative study based on the responses of hundreds of press freedom experts selected by RSF (journalists, academics, human rights defenders…) to a questionnaire in 23 languages. 

Legal framework and Social networks 

"Regarding freedom of the press, the application of the new code of the press and communication has made us understand that we still have a long way to go in terms of respect for the laws that govern our profession," said Fabrice Petchezi, head of the Togolese Media Observatory (OTM), an organization that monitors developments in Togo. And this, "especially regarding digital media, including social networks, which has sparked a huge confusion between traditional media that are recognized by the press and communication code and social networks which are not covered by this code.”

"This has caused a lot of troubles for our colleagues,  some of whom were detained, others have lost their receipt, and there were also suspensions on the side of the HAAC [High Authority for Audiovisual and Communication, Ed. note]," notes the observatory, in a context where several journalists and media, were brought to court. This "gives the impression that press freedom in Togo has suffered”. "It has suffered concerning the application of the texts that govern our profession. So, overall, we can say that the Togolese press has done a good job and is to be commended," concluded the observatory.

In West Africa and Africa

In the sub-region, neighboring Benin is ranked 121st in the world, Nigeria 129th, while Ghana and Senegal are ranked 60th and 73rd respectively.

In Africa, Seychelles (13th worldwide with a score of 83.33), Namibia (18th, a score of 81.84), South Africa (35th and 75.56), Cape Verde (36th and 75.37), and Côte d'Ivoire (37th and 74.46) are the best ranked. The lowest-ranked countries, in descending order,  are Somalia (140th), Equatorial Guinea (141st), Sudan (151st), Djibouti (164th), and Eritrea (179th).

The top three countries in RSF’s 2022 world press freedom index are Norway (92.65), Denmark (90.27), and Sweden (88.84). And the last three are Iran, Eritrea, and North Korea, respectively 178th, 179th, and 180th.

To contact us: c o n t a c t [@] t o g o f i r s t . c o m

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.