Oct. 2, 2015 Weekly Graphs
The V-Dem alternative source information index measures to what extent the media is (a) un-biased in their coverage (or lack of coverage) of the opposition, (b) allowed to be critical of the regime, and (c) representative of a wide array of political perspectives. In the following graph the development from 1950 to 2012 on this measure is presented for the countries in the Balkans, East-Central Europe and the MENA region. Gross restrictions on the free access to information is captured by the data for the Balkans and East-Central Europe until the end of the 1980s, while for the same period according to the data the situation is comparatively more open in the MENA region, although scores are still found below the middle of the scale. After the political changes in the 1990s both European regions depicted in this graph go through significant improvements in terms of allowing more impartial and broader coverage of the political situation. The countries in the MENA region also advance in this aspect although the progress is more modest. However, the data suggests that the free access to political information provided by the media in these three regions is still an issue that needs more focused attention and should be one of the development areas to be addressed in the coming 15 years.