Printer-friendly version

Media Sustainability Index (MSI) - Europe & Eurasia

Overview of MSI Europe & Eurasia

Amid declining or stagnant media health in several Eastern European and former Soviet countries some positive trends are emerging, demonstrating that not all hope is lost in the region when it comes to freedom of speech and quality journalism. Nonetheless, serious challenges do remain.

Of note, Albania, Armenia, and Moldova have all progressed consistently in recent years. Ukraine improved once the Yanukovych regime departed. Georgia and Croatia remain relatively strong. Even Macedonia, which for seven years deteriorated, showed modest improvement.

In a few countries, however, signs of improvement are likely blips on an otherwise downward path or unable to break stagnating animosity toward a free press. In Belarus, for example, some pressure was taken off the media in recent months—but presidential elections in late 2015 will likely cause renewed oppression.

The MSI measures the health of a country’s media sector by scoring five component parts, including the legal environment, quality of journalism, and media management practices.

Sources of revenue and finance remain key impediments to media performance throughout the region. “It’s no longer fashionable to use a heavy-handed approach to control information—although there are a few countries not with the fashion,” said Leon Morse, MSI managing editor. “Instead we see important media owned by ruling party allies, while independent-minded media are starved of advertising or locked out of new digital broadcasting opportunities thanks to dubious licensing practices,” he concluded.

One of the MSI’s Croatian contributors elaborated further on the challenges, saying “Such a persistent crisis in the media sector is a result of a combination of a contracted advertising market and media management incapable of coping with a new market environment. In the initial phase of the crisis, some print media managers had tried to fight the downward circulation trend by trivializing the content, which resulted in the loss of trust in media and a further drop in circulation.”

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 2015 (PDF)

MSI E&E Data

The average overall score crept upwards to 1.85, from 1.83 in 2014, with all regions except Central Asia showing improved overall scores. However, the overall average is still well below the E&E's high 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

2015: Cover, Pub Info & TOC | Executive Summary | Full Version
2014: Full Version
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 2014 was made possible by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Contact

msi@irex.org