Index 2024
96/ 180
Score : 54.81
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
109/ 180
Score : 53.73
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

The political and security situation in Chad remains very unstable and poses significant risks for journalists. The death of President Idriss Déby Itno in April 2021 led to a period of transition that was extended by two years in October 2022.

Media landscape

Since Chad began a process of democratisation in December 1990, the media landscape has expanded considerably and the media have acquired a certain independence, with state media ceasing to have a monopoly on news. Around ten newspapers (including L'ObservateurN'Djaména Hebdo, and Le Pays) are published regularly, four privately owned TV channels operate in N'Djaména, the capital, and around 60 radio stations operate nationwide. FM/Liberté, a radio station created by human rights activists, has the most listeners in the capital, in part because it has a network of reporters throughout the country. 

Political context

The communication ministry controls the state media and the government appoints their editors. It also chooses most of the media regulator’s members. Media outlets can have their own editorial line, but investigative reporting that is critical of senior government officials, their close associates or the military is not tolerated. The authorities may turn their sights on independent media outlets such as Alwihda Info, a news site that was shut down for eight days in August 2023. Access to official information remains very difficult. 

Legal framework

Press freedom and the right to information are enshrined in Chad’s laws. The 2010 press law abolished prison sentences for most press offences, except for defamation, which is punishable by up to three months in prison. The cybercrime law adopted in 2019 exposes journalists working online to arbitrary arrest and detention. More than a dozen newspapers were suspended in 2020 under the new press law, which requires a minimum level of qualification to run a newsroom, in an apparent desire to professionalise the media sector, which, in reality, could result in the elimination of many independent publications.

Economic context

Conditions are precarious for the media, especially for privately owned outlets. Newspapers are very costly to print and the advertising market is limited, resulting in some newspapers operating at a loss. Although the state is supposed to provide an annual subsidy, newspapers have received nothing since 2016, except on the eve of the April 2021 presidential election.

Sociocultural context

Chad has entered a period of transition since 20 April 2021 and the death of President Idriss Déby Itno, who had ruled with an iron fist for 30 years. Since then, the authorities have urged journalists and the media to refrain from disseminating hate speech and to prioritise calls for peace – an undeclared form of censorship. 


The presence of armed groups such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State in the country poses a security risk for journalists. Attacks, even murders, take place with complete impunit, as evidenced by the assassination of journalist Idriss Yaya, his wife and their son in March 2024, and by that of journalist Orédjé Narcisse in October 2022. Their killers have not been arrested. Media professionals also face violence from the police while covering anti-government protests, and journalists working in the provinces are often the victims of arbitrary arrests and threats. Access to social media was blocked for 470 days in a row in 2018 and 2019, which established Chad as one of Africa’s worst cybercensors in recent years. 

Abuses in real time in Chad

Killed since 1st January 2024
1 journalists
0 media workers
Detained as of today
0 journalists
0 media workers