How It Started, How It is Going: Media Literacy Index 2022

The Media Literacy Index is produced within the European Policies Initiative (EuPI) of the Open Society Institute – Sofia. The index assesses the resilience potential to fake news in 41 European countries, using indicators for media freedom, education and trust in people. As the indicators have different importance, they are assigned different weight in the model. The media freedom indicators have the highest weight (Freedom House and Reporters without Borders) along with the education indicators (PISA) with reading literacy having the highest share among them. The e-participation indicator (UN) and trust in people (Eurostat) have smaller weight relative to the other indicators. The first index was published in 2017 with editions in 2018, 2019, 2021 with 35 countries. In 2022 several more countries were added, making the number to 41 countries.

The index cluster analysis shows certain geographic patterns as the best performing counties are located in clusters in Northwestern Europe and the worst performing countries are located in the Southeastern Europe and the South Caucasus. The index shows there is a concentration of countries in the Southeast and East of Europe, which are potentially more vulnerable to fake news as they are lacking in several aspects monitored by the Media Literacy Index – quality of education, media freedom, low interpersonal trust or combination of problems in these areas.

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