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Country Report Estonia

  • ID: 2114012
  • April 2016
  • Region: Estonia
  • 67 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit
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Estonia and Latvia have chosen to take different responses to the continuing influence of Russian media in the Baltic region, given its broadcasting of often hostile propaganda and strong pro-Russian bias. Whereas Latvia has suspended a Russian TV channel and closed a controversial Russian-owned news portal, Estonia is allowing Russian-language media to operate unhindered, but has launched a government-operated Russian-language TV channel. We do not expect either response to ignite social unrest, but nor do we expect the moves to prove very effective in countering Russian media influence. As a result, such influence will help to perpetuate existing cultural and political divisions within Baltic society.

In April the Latvian media regulator, the National Electronic Mass Media Council (NEPLP), suspended the Rossija RTR TV channel-which broadcasts from Sweden, but is owned by a Russian state media company and prepares content in Russia-from being broadcast in Latvia for six months. The regulator found that shows broadcast by Rossija RTR in 2015 contained hate speech aimed at inciting ethnic hatred in Latvia, as well as reporting that advocated war and conflict. Lithuania's media READ MORE >

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Country Report Estonia

Russian media maintain influence
Russian TV channels will remain popular, despite moves to counter them
Ongoing Russian influence on Baltic public opinion will reinforce societal divisions

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