Friday, September 28, 2007

Media Sustainability Indexes from IREX

IREX currently publishes two indexes on the conditions for independent media to thrive in 38 countries across Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, and North Africa. Since 2000 it has focused on Eurasian MSI but since 2006 it has taken on the Middle East and North Africa. In addition, an MSI for Africa is due out this year. The MSI is designed to analyze key elements of each country’s media system and highlight where intervention can be most effective in promoting sustainable and professional media systems.

MSI Europe & Eurasia 2006/07, the sixth MSI for this region, focuses on 21 countries.
MSI Middle East and North Africa (MENA) analyzes 18 countries in the region. Both are available in full online.

IREX (International Research and Exchange Board), is an international nonprofit organization that describes its mission as "providing leadership and innovative programs to improve the quality of education, strengthen independent media, and foster pluralistic civil society development."

Tooling around the site I also ran into this: The Internet in Russia: On The Eve of Great Changes, an IREX Internet project for Russia that chronicles the dramatic changes in the growth of the Internet in Russia from 1990-1999. This online history includes information collected from more than 200 sources and site addresses of leading commercial, educational, and noncommercial organizations. As explained at the IREX site, "Vast distances, compounded by the deteriorating infrastructure of existing mail, telephone, fax, and other traditional means of communication, make the Internet an ideal medium to overcome the historical isolation of Soviet scholars, students, and business people and increase communication among the emerging civil society."

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