Q: Are there successful examples of media accountability systems in Estonia?
There are two press councils in Estonia – the Newspaper Association’s Press Council (since 2002) and the Estonian Press Council (since 1991). As there is no cooperation between the two councils and there even is an agreement among the newspapers who are members of the Newspaper Association to ignore the Estonian Press Council, I would say that both have little effect.
Q: Do you believe there should be a new ethical code specifically for online journalism?
No. In my opinion there shouldn’t be a distinction made between journalism online and offline when talking about ethics. Journalism is journalism and there are basically the same ethical problems online as offline. A general code could include specific articles if there is something specific to regulate online – which I doubt.
Concerning journalistic work processes, the introduction of separate online departments in the national daily newspapers can be seen as a kind of innovation. Another innovation a few years ago was the introduction of ‘commentariums’ on websites of newspaper publishing companies as well as public broadcasters. Hence, readers, listeners and viewers got the possibility to publish their opinion on an article.