[FoME] Europe & Eurasia Media Sustainability Index 2013

Sofie Jannusch Sofie.Jannusch at CAMECO.ORG
Fr Aug 2 14:10:58 CEST 2013

Europe & Eurasia Media Sustainability Index 2013
IREX’s latest Europe & Eurasia Media Sustainability Index (MSI)
 finds that new media sources are rapidly replacing traditional outlets
as the preferred source of news. A decade after online media began
sapping the advertising revenue of traditional outlets in the West,
these same trends are now washing across the region to the east,
undermining business models as they go. 
No matter why the audience migrates online or to satellite
television—whether in search of content that is cheaper, fresher,
more targeted, sensational, or crowd-sourced—the traditional media are
left behind with a smaller audience. 
Business management remained the key constraint for the region, the
lowest objective in 12 of 21 countries. Before the financial crisis, for
the 2001-2009 studies, professionalism was consistently the panels’
lowest performer. Business management is now the only objective
performing below its 2001 level for the region.s circulation and
advertising revenues fall, expenditures on newsgathering, journalist
salaries, and training have fallen in step. As such, professionalism and
business health have now fallen consistently since 2008. In Bulgaria
( http://www.irex.org/resource/bulgaria-media-sustainability-index-msi)
, one panelist described the competition as “ferocious,” with
low-quality, free news websites proliferating and leaving a grim picture
for traditional journalists and their employers. Several country studies
found reporters working two or three jobs to survive, frantically
rewriting an original story several ways for several outlets. Even the
advantages typically associated with the new media revolution were
questioned, as in Ukraine
( http://www.irex.org/resource/ukraine-media-sustainability-index-msi)
, where one panelist noted that an increase in Internet news outlets did
not create an increase in objectivity. 
The most telling evidence of new media’s relevance in Eurasia is the
attention paid to it by the region’s leaders and elites. A court in
shuttered online video news website Stan TV, among others, for covering
deadly clashes between striking oil workers and security forces. Other
Central Asian governments routinely block new media outlets, the source
of nearly all independent news and commentary in that region. 
( http://www.irex.org/resource/kosovo-media-sustainability-index-msi) 
and Croatia
( http://www.irex.org/resource/croatia-media-sustainability-index-msi) 
were the best performers; with Croatia’s recent EU accession its
performance next year will be telling: Bulgaria and Romania
( http://www.irex.org/resource/romania-media-sustainability-index-msi) 
have regressed steadily since joining. Moldova
( http://www.irex.org/resource/moldova-media-sustainability-index-msi) 
was another bright spot, continuing to improve since a change of
government in 2010. Turkmenistan
, Uzbekistan
, and Belarus
( http://www.irex.org/resource/belarus-media-sustainability-index-msi) 
remain among the worst performers. 
The U.S. Agency for International Development
( http://www.usaid.gov/)  funds the Europe and Eurasia MSI in 21
countries. The full version and single country reports are available for
download under 
(source: IREX mailings)
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