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Media Sustainability Index (MSI) - Middle East & North 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 the Middle East & North Africa MSI

The 2010/11 Media Sustainability Index (MSI) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is the fifth such study undertaken by IREX, and tracks the developments in the media across the region during the events of the Arab Spring. While the freedom of speech rights have expanded in many countries since 2009, the reactionary actions of the authorities in some countries, along with a drop in security, have meant new challenges and dangers for journalists. The panels also noted that the journalism field has been flooded with new entrants, including youth activists, citizen journalists, bloggers, and average citizens equipped with smart phones and internet access. These new voices have broadened coverage of events, regions, and topics. However, the lack of experience and training is apparent in this cohort of new journalists, limiting the positive impact of their contributions as they raise new questions of journalistic integrity and ethics in a sector long led by professionals in the service of the state, not of the public.

MSI Middle East & North Africa Chapters 

Algeria  |  Bahrain  |  Egypt  |  Iran  |  Iraq  |  Iraq-Kurdistan  |  Jordan  |  Kuwait  |  Lebanon  |  Libya  |  Morocco  |  Oman  |  Qatar  |  Saudi Arabia  |  Syria  |  Tunisia  |  United Arab Emirates  | West Bank/Gaza Yemen

Download Full Version of Middle East & North Africa MSI 2010/2011

MSI Middle East & North Africa Data

Five reports over seven years have provided a mixed picture of the region's media development. After gains in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco in recent years, the most recent report shows a clear drop in media sustainability scores. Iraq's progress has stagnated. Palestine's performance continues to be unstable. Only in Syria and Tunisia has there been significant improvement in recent years. On average, the region has shown little overall improvement since 2005, the first year of the study. Due to funding contstraints, the 2010/11 MENA MSI was conducted in only nine of 19 countries studied in previous cycles, specifically, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen.

MSI Middle East & North Africa Scores Past and Present 

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 Department of State's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Cooperative Agreement No. #DFD-A-00-05-00243 (MSI-MENA) via a Task Order by the Academy for Educational Development.