Journalists in Estonia are working in a broadly favourable environment, but media ownership is still highly concentrated. As newsrooms are operating under increasing pressure from commercial entities, the autonomy of journalists is in decline. Recently, the owner of one of the two dominant private media corporations, who is also conservative Isamaa party member, was criticised for direct interference in the editorial process. He had personally appointed leading staff and promoted a conservative worldview in a new newspaper section he opened before the parliamentary elections. One third of the population in Estonia are Russian speaking and local Russian speaking journalists' needs are somewhat disregarded. All of the biggest newsrooms have a Russian language section where Russian speaking journalists work, but their audiences are small and therefore, they struggle to make themselves heard. They simply have to compete with powerful Russian Federation’s media outlets, mainly TV stations. Local Russian speakers are reluctant to follow content produced in Estonia. The Estonian government has tried to tackle this issue by creating a Russian language public broadcast TV station ETV+ in 2015, but their audience is still smaller than any other Russian TV station. There are very few Russian language journalists working alongside Estonian journalists. The country’s most prominent journalism awards, like the Bonnier award for investigative journalism and The Journalist of the Year award, have never been won by Russian language journalists.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



12 in 2018

Global score


14.08 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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