Estonia

Estonian Daily Postimees: Journalists Ward off Ownership Meddling

Journalists at the biggest Estonian daily newspaper confront intrusive management.
 
“To our knowledge, for the first time in the history of Postimees, we are told about what [to write] and how we should write. It is prescribed to us whom to cover and with what degree of criticism,” the department heads of the Estonian daily newspaper Postimees wrote in a memo sent last March to the publication’s owner, Margus Linnamae, and its general manager, Sven Nuutmann.
 
Postimees is the largest and oldest daily in Estonia with 160 years of continuous publication. The letter was sent by journalists angered by the repeated practices of the newspaper’s general management to dictate about whom to write or not to write and even in what kind of tone, according to the memo, a draft version of which was intercepted by Eesti Rahvusringhaaling (ERR), Estonia’s public broadcaster.
 

The News of Eastern Europe: Brought to You by Russia

For ten years, the Russian government has built media across eastern Europe. They are becoming a fearsome player in the region’s media market.
 
Last March, far-right British activist Jim Dowson told the Guardian that the website Patriotic News Agency, which he had launched in July 2016 to spread pro-Trump propaganda, has bases in Hungary and Serbia. He said that other such platforms are also based there.
 

Estonian Public Media Gets Government Manpower

The appointment of a high government official in the body that governs Estonia’s public broadcaster is opening a can of worms. He promises to keep his two hats apart - but some people don’t trust him.
 
On 3 May 2017, Riigikogu, Estonia’s parliament, appointed Paavo Nogene to the post of Chancellor of the Ministry of Culture, who is the second highest official in the ministry, in the council of the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR). Mr Nogene was appointed thanks to his credentials as an “expert.” The reshuffling included the appointment of three new ERR council members. This was a regular move, given the fact that the terms of three former council members, all appointed because they qualify as experts, had expired.
 

European Court Decision Allows Media to Be Less Paranoid About Online Comments

In summer 2015, a much-criticized decision by Europe’s human rights court left online portals anxious about what comments they allowed on their sites. Now, the same court has reversed that decision in a lawsuit lodged by two Hungarian websites. That means less stress for online media.