One Country, Two Polarised Audiences: Estonia and the Deficiency of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

One Country, Two Polarised Audiences: Estonia and the Deficiency of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive


  • Andres Jõesaar Baltic Film and Media School, Tallinn University, Estonia


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Abstract:  This article argues that until recent times, the Estonian media policy has mainly been interpreted as an economic issue and it did not account for the strategic need to build a comprehensive media field to serve all groups in society. This has happened despite the fact the Estonian media policy is in line with the European Union (EU) media policy, which should ensure freedom of information, diversity of opinion and media pluralism. Findings of the Estonian case study show that despite these noble aims, Estonia has two radically different information fields: one for Estonian speaking audiences and one for Russian speakers. Events in Ukraine have added to the democratic media policy paradigm a question of national security. Now it is a challenge for the policy makers to unite polarised media fields and how to minimise the impact of Russian propaganda. On the EU level, one supportive measure could be a revision of the Audiovisual Media Service Directive.

Keywords:  Estonia; media for minorities; public service broadcasting; Russian language media

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v3i4.383


© Andres Jõesaar. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.