Publication Date: June 2014
Research and Editorial Team: Laura Schneider

This report by DW Akademie, the media development branch of Deutsche Welle, provides a systematic and easily applicable overview of the most important details regarding the existing media freedom indices.

Five different indexes are considered in this report, selected because they produce regular international monitoring outcomes. The indexes considered are:

  • Freedom of the Press Index by Freedom House
  • Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders
  • Media Sustainability Index by the 
International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), 
  • African Media Barometer by
the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung 
  • Media Development Indicators by UNESCO).

These indicators have notable impact because they receive broad international attention: the scoring of a country fuels the domestic and international political debate, playing an important role for national media policies. Furthermore, the results of the media freedom rankings represent the basic information upon which strategies in selected developing countries and emerging economies are planned.

The different indices available provide complementary information, as a consequence of conceptual background of the different media freedom indices and what goals do they have. To take full advantage of the information they convey, it is important to be aware of the different organizations, background and methodologies adopted for the elaboration of each specific index.

The report is complemented with a table comparing and summarizing the indexes' specificities, with interviews to the indices' authors and with an overview of the most suitable index for specific aspects.

Tags: Worldwide Media freedom

The content of this article can be used according to the terms of Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) . To do so use the the wording "this article was originally published on the Resource Centre on Media Freedom in Europe" including a direct active link to the original article page.