Drawing on its unique experience in developing a successful Media Sustainability Index (MSI) for Europe and Eurasia over the past five years, IREX is now expanding its in-depth analysis of the conditions for independent media to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The first MENA MSI provides critical benchmark data and probing analysis of evolving media systems in the 18 countries of the region.
Policymakers, development specialists, and civil-society leaders and professionals in transitioning countries increasingly recognize the state of media as a key element of the development agenda, not only in the democracy and governance sectors but also in such fields as economic growth, poverty reduction, health, youth, and gender. The MSI is designed to assist in advancing development in all these areas by analyzing the elements of each country’s media system and highlighting where intervention can be most effective in promoting a sustainable and professional media system.
The debut MSI for the MENA region provides a starting point for an ongoing assessment. For most of the media professionals who participated in their country panels, this was their first opportunity to evaluate the complex array of elements that comprise a media sector. In some countries, direct or more subtle pressures on moderators and panelists required that the process be conducted “virtually” rather than through an actual, on-the-ground panel. Given the eclectic blend of media in the MENA region, the differing pace of media development, and the novelty of the process, we believe that with each subsequent publication of the MSI we will gain valuable, comparative data within each country and across the region as a whole.
For more information or to download the MENA MSI visit www.irex.org/msi.