Ivory Coast
Index 2024
53/ 180
Score : 66.89
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
54/ 180
Score : 68.83
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

Côte d’Ivoire’s media landscape is among the most politicised and polarised in West Africa. Journalists are sometimes summoned for questioning by prosecutors, and some are subjected to physical or verbal attacks. It is not uncommon for newspapers to be suspended.

Media landscape

With at least 190 authorised stations, radio is the most popular medium. Most of the country’s approximately 100 newspapers and news sites have a strong political bias, which is signalled on newsstands by the colour of the publications: green for those that support the ruling party, and blue for those that support the opposition. The latter have been in decline in recent years, with the authorities suspending some and others closing because of financial difficulties. But Le Temps and La Voie originale are still published fairly regularly. In such a polarised media landscape, investigative journalism is a minor presence compared to “opinion journalism”. The arrival of the first privately owned TV channels in 2019 ended a more than 50-year monopoly of Radiodiffusion télévision ivoirienne (RTI). The country now has three private TV channels, all owned by supporters of the ruling party. 

Political context

Press freedom is still closely tied to the political environment. Some political parties and leaders still exert considerable influence on the media. RTI, the state-owned broadcaster, continues to act as the public relations branch of the government and president.

Legal framework

The law does not contain any provisions for imprisonment in the event of press offences, but it is still a crime to insult the president. The constitution guarantees freedom of expression, and the 2017 press law protects journalists’ sources. Print and online media are regulated by the National Press Authority (ANP), and radio and television by the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA). The ANP can suspend the publication of a newspaper and impose a three-month publication ban, as was the case several times in 2023. 

Economic context

Newspaper sales are down and editorial staff are shrinking. Some national dailies that had a circulation of tens of thousands of copies 20 years ago now rarely sell more than 2,000 a day. In 2021, the investigative weekly L’Eléphant dechaîné announced that it was terminating its print edition to become an online newspaper. Privately owned TV channels rely on advertising for their survival but the advertising market was valued at 15 to 18 million euros in 2021, which media professionals say is insufficient. 

Sociocultural context

For cultural reasons, the Ivorian media do not openly address sexual orientation issues.


Investigative reporters are often the target of corruption, intimidation, and arrests, and their newsrooms may be subject to attacks. Many journalists face security problems in connection with their work, from both political party activists and law enforcement.