Media Sustainability Index
International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)
Designed as a tool to measure media development, as well as to assess changes in media systems over time.
Used as an advocacy tool.
The results are based upon a combination of expert panel and IREX staff assessments against a pre-specified set of norms.
Country Coverage: 80 countries
Year Coverage: 2001- present (normally annual)
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The index is compiled using a system which scores countries against a specified set of freedoms. The scores are averaged within each of the 5 aspects measured, namely:
- Legal and social norms protect and promote free speech and access to public information.
- Journalism meets professional standards of quality.
- Multiple news sources provide citizens with reliable, objective news.
- Media are well-managed enterprises, allowing editorial independence.
- Supporting institutions function in the professional interests of independent media.
An expert panel is drawn from representatives of local media, non-governmental organisations, professional associations, international donors and media development
implementers. The panel scores each aspect individually, then meets to agree on combined assessment. This is then averaged with an assessment from the IREX staff to obtain the final rating.
0-4 range (0 = worst and 4 = best)
The index and the country reports which accompany it can provide an interesting insight into the functioning of the free media in a broader sense than some other similar indices.
This should not be used alone as a measure of free speech. The freedoms measured cover only the media, not individuals. Moreover the scoring method implies that a high score in one area offsets freedoms denied in another area.
The views of IREX staff have a high weight in the index. Users therefore assume that IREX representatives are at least as knowledgeable as the panel of country experts. The norms used would imply that a sustainable media requires a functioning market economy. Advertising revenue and private sector paper producers are key factors, for example.
The table below shows all results of a selected country from the 2012 index.