Togo’s L’Alternative resumes operations with support from RSF


Togo’s leading investigative newspaper, L’Alternative, has made a triumphant return as a website, thanks to support from Reporters Without Borders (RSF). The publication had been forced to shutter its operations a year ago when its publisher and editor fled the country.

“With an RSF support grant and a revamped and more secure website, L’Alternative is again ready to provide its readers with investigative reporting, and it started today, 7 March, a date destined to go down in the history of the freedom to inform and media pluralism in Togo,” announced the organization on Thursday.

L’Alternative ceased publication in March 2023 when its publisher and editor fled just before they were sentenced to jail by a court, with an international warrant subsequently issued for their arrest. The newspaper had previously faced adversity in December 2021 when its staff was imprisoned on charges of “contempt of authority” over an investigative video report on YouTube.

“Investigative journalism is necessary to expose facts that some leaders wish to hide. The courage of investigative reporters helps to defend the right to information, as L’Alternative has demonstrated by the important role it has played in Togo. It was essential that this investigative newspaper should not disappear, which is why RSF decided to help relaunch it so that it could recover its prominent place in the media landscape,” remarked Sadibou Marong, Director of RSF’s Sub-Saharan Africa bureau.

Founded as a bi-weekly newspaper in April 2008, L’Alternative expanded its reach with the launch of an online version, attracting a broader audience. The publication was established by Togolese investigative journalist Ferdinand Ayité, who was later joined by Isidore Kouwonou, assuming the role of editor.

“It is the love we have for our country and the passion we have for this profession that keeps us going despite this ordeal,” Kouwonou said. “We have kept the flame alive even after a year of absence.”

The news outlet is now operating via, following yesterday’s launch ceremony.

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