Conceived in 2000, the Media Sustainability Index is compiled by IREX in cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as a tool to assess the development of media systems over time and across countries.


The MSI assesses five aspects of a sustainable and professional media system. These five dimensions are formulated as “objectives” and serve as the criteria against which countries are rated. They are articulated as follows:

1. Legal and social norms protect and promote free speech and access to public information.

2. Journalism meets professional standards of quality.

3. Multiple news sources provide citizens with reliable, objective news.

4. Media are well-managed enterprises, allowing editorial independence.

5. Supporting institutions function in the professional interests of independent media.

A score is attained for each objective by rating between seven and nine indicators, which determine how well a country meets that objective. A detailed list of the indicators considered for each objective is provided in the methodology .

Primary source of information is a panel of local experts drawn from the country’s media outlets, NGOs, professional associations, and academic institutions.  

The Compilation of Annual Scores for Europe & Eurasia, in the period 2001–2016, can be downloaded here.

Tags: Media pluralism Legal protection Impunity Ethics of journalism Access to information
Publication Date: 31/01/2017
Source: International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)
Dataset format: xls
Accessibility: free