Estonia

The concept of media accountability and self-regulation was introduced in Estonia within the course of societal transformation and democratic reforms in the 1990s. Two decades of democratization and restructuring of the media system have resulted in unrestricted freedom of the press and an unregulated oligopolistic market situation. The favorable conditions for the economic development of the media industry have not created a favorable environment for the development of media’s social accountability. Currently, there is no mechanism to prevent the media from misusing their power. The current legislation and court practices do not motivate the media organizations to invest in the quality of journalism. The existing accountability instruments are in fact under the control of the media industry and elite, having no substantial effect on the quality of media performance. Civic society structures are not strong enough to be able to ›watch the watchdog‹.

For more details see Urmas Loit / Epp Lauk / Halliki Harro-Loit (2011): Estonia: Fragmented Accountability. In: Tobias Eberwein / Susanne Fengler / Epp Lauk / Tanja Leppik-Bork (eds.): Mapping Media Accountability – in Europe and Beyond. Cologne: Herbert von Halem Verlag, pp. 36-49.

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