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Media Sustainability Index (MSI) - Europe & Eurasia

Overview of MSI Europe & Eurasia

The 2013 MSI study for Europe & Eurasia found a mix of positive and negative developments in almost every country. As last year, overall significant improvement, defined as 0.10 points or more, was observed in six countries, while significant regression was observed in five. Eleven of 21 countries showed little overall average change from 2012. Significant findings included the following:

Only Moldova showed a second straight year of significant improvement in overall sustainability, maintaining its momentum from 2012. Kosovo reversed its trend line from negative to positive, while the other four gainers in 2013—Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan—showed little change from 2011 to 2012.

Competitive political scenes in Georgia, Moldova, and Armenia correlated with sustainability gains in each country for 2013, largely due to increases in free expression and plurality of news sources. Georgia posted significant improvement in each of the five objectives.

Competitive politics correlated with significant regression in Bulgaria, Romania, and Kyrgyzstan, where overtly biased reporting, opaque ownership, and economic crises worsened by political gridlock led to declines in professionalism, plurality, and business sustainability. Notably, Kazakhstan’s farcical parliamentary election corresponded with an improvement in its MSI score, though not due to improved free expression or plurality of sources, but on economic gains. Russia’s score collapsed by 12 percent, falling in every objective, putting it at the bottom of the pack of unsustainable mixed media systems and in danger of joining Belarus at the cusp of the anti-free press category. Political and economic crises within the EU spread to member states Bulgaria and Romania, contributing to their decreased scores. Turkmenistan improved modestly on pay raises for state employees, but its fantasy new media law and first technically non-state media outlet did not impress the MSI research team.

Business management remained the key constraint for the region, the lowest objective in 12 of 21 countries, and near the bottom of four other countries’ tables. Before the financial crisis, for the 2001-2009 studies, professionalism was consistently the panels’ lowest performer. Business management is now the only objective performing below its 2001 level for the region.

For more information or to request a hard copy, email msi@irex.org. Please provide name, full mailing address, region(s), MSI publication year, and quantity.

MSI Europe & Eurasia Chapters

Albania  Armenia | Azerbaijan | Belarus | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Georgia | Kazakhstan | Kosovo | Kyrgyzstan | Macedonia | Moldova | Montenegro | Romania | Russia | Serbia | Tajikistan | Turkmenistan | Ukraine | Uzbekistan

Download Full Version of Europe & Eurasia MSI 2013 (PDF)

MSI E&E Data

At an average overall score of 1.83, the region continues its stalled climb up from its low-water mark of 1.79 in 2010. On average, countries have improved 14 percent over the life of the study. However, the region remains well below its high-water mark of 2.05 in 2006/2007, before the financial crisis hit.

MSI E&E Score Compilation

How Does IREX Define and Measure Sustainability?

By “sustainability” IREX refers to the ability of media to play its vital role as the “fourth estate.” How sustainable is a media sector in the context of providing the public with useful, timely, and objective information? How well does it serve as a facilitator of public discussion? To measure this, the MSI assesses five “objectives” that shape a media system: freedom of speech, professional journalism, plurality of news, business management, and supporting institutions. Read the complete MSI Methodology for more information on how this is accomplished.

Contact Us / Request a Hard Copy

For more information or to request a hard copy, email msi@irex.org. Please provide name, full mailing address, region(s), MSI publication year, and quantity.

Download PDF Versions

2013: Full Version
2012: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive Summary | Full Version
2011: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive Summary | Full Version
2010: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive Summary | Full Version
2009: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive Summary | Full Version
2008: Cover, Pub Ino & TOC | Executive Summary | Full Version
2006/7: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive Summary
2005: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive Summary | Full Version
2004: Executive Summary | Full Version
2003: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive Summary | Full Version
2002: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive Summary | Full Version
2001: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive SummaryFull Version

Acknowledgement

The Europe and Eurasia MSI 2013 was made possibly by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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