Difficult time

2020 was a tough year for Estonian journalists. Members of the government often attacked them verbally. Some politicians threatened to reduce funding for the state broadcaster because of its critical reporting. On several occasions, government ministers refused to provide information to journalists at press conferences, without giving any valid reason. A penal code amendment that allows a court to ban journalists from covering a case was used in 2020. Several court orders prevented journalists from reporting information of a public interest nature. Nonetheless, the supreme court set a positive precedent for press freedom and the public interest in December by overturning a decision by the state auditing court preventing the newspaper Eesti Päevaleht from reporting the testimony of witnesses and part of a trial involving corruption at the port of Tallinn. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Estonian media received some state aid although it was less than initially envisaged. The two biggest privately-owned media companies were the biggest beneficiaries, receiving 1.5 million euros in state aid.

in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index



14 in 2020

Global score


12.61 in 2020

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2022
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2022
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2022
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