Estonian and Russian speaking audience sections’ opinion on media credibility and on the value of public service broadcasting in 2010-2019.


In times of information overload and misinformation, ensuring adequate public awareness in democratic societies has become increasingly intricate. The success of social media has challenged traditional media, including public-service media. As a result of Estonia's geopolitical location and applied media policy, it is a special challenge to connect Estonian and Russian-speaking communities in a common information field. The aim of this paper is to analyse the changes of opinions of Estonian and Russian-speaking communities on the importance and credibility (trustworthiness) of different information sources in 2010-2019. Selection of information sources includes all Estonian media channels, main Russia's TV-channels and services offered by global players. Another important focus of the study is to explore the satisfaction of the two communities with the content and activities of the Estonian Public Broadcasting. Thirdly, this work analyses the impact of the launch of Russian-language public service television channel ETV+ on the viewing time of (Russia state) TV channels among the Russian-speaking audience in Estonia.

In the article, we will also examine the role of PSM (in Estonian, the ERR – Eesti Rahvusringhääling) based on the data collected in Estonia. We will analyse the role of ERR in their specific functions in content provision and the audience feedback to their role performance. One aim of the study is to explore the possible new roles that ERR can play in society and for audiences.

To provide the answers to our research questions, we will use the public data provided by Statistics Estonia on the changes in the broadcast programming, as well as original survey data collected by various studies conducted by ERR and Tallinn University (representative surveys among the Estonian population in 2014, 2017, and 2019, with approximately 1,000 respondents for each, organised in cooperation with TNS / Kantar Emor and SaarPoll). The conclusions we draw could be relevant to PSM in other EU countries as well since those systems face similar problems.