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Media Sustainability Index (MSI) - Africa

IREX’s Media Sustainability Index (MSI) provides in-depth analyses of the conditions for independent media in 80 countries across the world. 

MSI Overview  |  Africa  |  Asia  |  Europe & Eurasia  | Middle East & North Africa

Overview of MSI Africa

With South Sudan's formal independence in 2011, both Africa and the Media Sustainability Index added a new country: the 2012 study contains 42 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In years past the Sudan study focused on the situation in the South, as the political situation there was more favorable to a study such as the Media Sustainability Index. In some ways, one might view the additional study as that of Sudan proper. In both cases, panelists in each country painted a  more difficult environment for media in 2012 compared with 2010. In Sudan, the effects of secession, loss of oil income, and austerity protests made a bad situation worse for media there. In the South, panelists who in years past had been hopeful for future changes that would lift the media there now voice frustration at the persistence of the hurdles they face reporting freely.

MSI Africa Chapters 

Angola  |  Benin  |  Botswana Burkina Faso  |  Burundi  |  Cameroon  |  Central African Republic  |  Chad
| Democratic Republic of Congo  |  Republic of Congo  |  Côte d’Ivoire  |  Djibouti  |  Equatorial Guinea Eritrea  |  Ethiopia  |  Gabon  |  The Gambia  |  Ghana  |  Guinea  |  Kenya  |  Liberia  |  Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania  |  Mozambique  |  Namibia  |  Niger  |  Nigeria  |  Rwanda  |  Senegal  |  Sierra Leone  |  Somalia  |  Somaliland South Africa  |  South Sudan  |  Sudan  |  Tanzania Togo  |  Uganda  |  Zambia  |  Zimbabwe

Download Full Version of 2012 MSI Africa (PDF)

MSI Africa Data

Compared with 2010, only 11 countries studied by the MSI showed significant improvement (improvement of .1 or more). Taken as a whole, Africa's overall average remained static. However, a noticeable jump took place in the Plurality of News objective, with the continental average standing at 2.05, up from 1.99. Offsetting this gain, however, was a drop of .11 in the Business Management continental objective.

MSI Africa 2012 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.

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This publication was made possible through support provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Cooperative Agreement No. #DFD-A-00-05-00243 (MSI-MENA) via a Task Order by FHI360.