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Media Abroad: Some Improvement But Plenty of Obstacles

Media Abroad: Some Improvement But Plenty of Obstacles

Media in Eastern Europe and Eurasia are on divergent paths, according to research funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Officials from the research organizations spoke to a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty audience; RFE/RL released a summary of the remarks.
According to IREX, its Media Sustainability Index shows that while revolutions have sparked positive trends in Georgia and Ukraine, “politicized media and self-censorship remain obstacles to development of an independent press in almost all of the countries surveyed.”
Officials said they noted positive trends in Southeastern Europe – “It’s not there yet by any means, but when compared to either Western Eurasia or, in particular, Central Asia, it is far more advanced” – and mentioned Montenegro, Bosnia, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Central Asia “was at the opposite extreme … (and) remains the farthest from having independent or sustainable media.” Three of the four lowest-ranking countries in the survey were Central Asian countries; the fourth was Belarus. Russia is ranked in the lower tier due to its “backsliding.”
USAID uses the info to measure the effectiveness of assistance programs. A panel of media professionals was assembled in 20 countries to assess their media environments over the last four years.
The index can be visited online; click here.

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