The main regulator for licenses and broadcasting authorizations is the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry also supervises the application of the Broadcasting Act.
Also, there is a Public Broadcasting Council which is in charge of specific regulations linked to the public broadcasting sector. It also receives complaints from the citizens about the public broadcasting service.
The press council of the Estonian Newspapers Association was created by the Association as a self-regulatory body composed of ten members from both the media and non-media sectors; it addresses complaints on material not only seen in the press but from online portals with journalistic content , public service and commercial broadcasting stations. Most of the media outlets are member of the press council.
There is also a Press Council (ASN) which is a separate body from the Council of the Estonian Newspaper Association and describes itself as a body of media criticism, but also makes ruling on complaints for those media outlets that recognize it and with the Estonian Journalists Union. The reason for the existence of the self-regulatory Press Council and an additional body of media criticism ASN is a dispute within the Estonian Press Council leading to a restructuring and the formation of a council by the Estonian Newspaper Association.
The Estonian Public Broadcaster ERR is the only media organization in Estonia to have a media ombudsman. The media ombudsman has the duty to handle complaints from the audience and observe whether ERR follows journalistic ethics and is balanced.
As one of the most connected countries in the world, content and standards of journalists working online is central; accordingly, in 2003 the main online new portals agreed to adhere to the journalistic standards of the self-regulatory Press Council. Furthermore, this increases the importance of safeguarding internet freedom and security as was proved by the instances in 2007 of cyber-attacks. As a response, the state adopted a five year cyber-defence strategy whilst a NATO joint cyber-defence centre was established so as to properly monitor and ensure security.Back to top