Newspapers in Estonia
The media landscape in Estonia has changed fundamentally since the country
became independent in 1991. The newspapers, which were part of the Communist
Party's propaganda machine, have been privatized and are no longer subject to
censorship. At the same time, new technology in the IT sector and the
establishment of privately owned radio and television have changed the entire
The country's constitution prohibits censorship, and Estonia is in third
place (2011-12) on the Reporters Without Borders index of freedom of expression.
Internet and mobile telephony
Estonia is at the top of the Baltic countries when it comes to the Internet.
As early as 2000, Parliament decided that access to the Internet is a human
right. Over 75% of the population is connected (2012). Google, YouTube and
Facebook top the list of the most visited sites, along with the national news
portal Delfi and the daily Postimee website.
In 2001, the telecommunications market was deregulated and the former state
Elion is now owned by Swedish-Finnish TeliaSonera. Among the competitors are
TV and radio
Radio broadcasting began in 1926 and television began broadcasting in 1955.
In 2007, the state broadcasters merged into one - Eesti Ravhusringhääling (ERR).
The company has two TV channels and five radio channels.
There are about 15 private radio stations that broadcast in about 25
channels. The private TV channels are dominated by two actors - Eesti Media and
the Swedish Modern Times Group (MTG), which are part of the Kinneviks sphere.
All channels are transmitted digitally; the analog network was switched off in
Daily press and magazine
There are five newspapers with national distribution, four in Estonian and
one in Russian. The largest are Estonian Postimees with a circulation of about
55,000 items. In addition, there are about 20 regional newspapers, several with
editions below 5,000 copies. Bonniers also has operations in the country and
publishes the daily business magazine Äripäev with an edition of just over
10,000 copies. (2012). Bonniers and Schibsted made major investments in Estonia
in the late 1990s, but Bonniers has today sold all business except its business
newspaper while Schibsted sold its media house Eesti Media in 2013.
Estonia has a rich folk poetry whose oldest
layer, the runo songs, has been passed on through oral
tradition for many centuries.
Towards the end of the 19th century, especially
during the period of refreshment, recording and
collecting folk poems became a way of expressing and
preserving the national character. Folk poetry has been
and is an important source of inspiration for Estonian
lyricists. The national post Kalevipoeg (Kalev's son,
published 1856–1861) by Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald is
largely based on folk poetry.
Latest population statistics of Estonia, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Song plays a big role in Estonian culture. When a
native culture emerged in the 19th century (Russian tsar
times), song choirs and periodic recurring song parties
were the elements. That tradition lives on with a wide
popular foundation. The choir song in Estonia is of high
class and is world famous, including through Inseneride
Meeskoor (The Engineers' Choir).
The traditional Estonian song festivals played an
important role in the country's liberation from the
Soviet Union in 1991. A leading figure in this singing
revolution was the composer and conductor Gustav
Ernesaks, called the father of the song in Estonia.
During the Soviet occupation, Ernesaks said that both
the sky and the earth would be darkened if the people
had no choir in which they could sing.
Estonian Arvo Pärts classic and religious
compositions are among the most beloved of our time. His
simple minimalist music is recognized worldwide and in
2015, Pärt was ranked for the fifth consecutive year as
the most played live composer in the country.
Literature is important in modern Estonian culture. A
domestic prose emerged in the late 19th century with
national romantic and later social-critical works. After
the turn of the century, literature opened to
Scandinavia and Western Europe. Anton Hansen Tammsaare's
(1878-1940) historical epic Tõde ja õigus (Truth and
Justice) is referred to as one of the foremost works of
During World War II, nearly two-thirds of Estonian
writers fled abroad - many to Sweden - where they
continued their literary activities (for example, Karl
Ristikivi). A new generation of writers also appeared,
including Kalju Lepik and Helga Nõu.
In Estonia, the development stagnated during the
Stalin period (1944–1953), but thereafter, greater
openness, experimental desire and the revitalization of
literary life followed. In the following decades, great
author names emerged such as the Nobel laureates Jaan
Kross and Jaan Kaplinski and the acclaimed poet Paul-Eerik
Rummo. Among the writers of the 21st century are the
award-winning poet and novelist Kristiina Ehin.
Estonian art follows broadly the same lines of
development as literature. Johan Koler, who during the
second half of the 19th century became a pioneer in
national art, drew many motives from Kalevipoeg. In the
early 1900s, Estonian art was revitalized with several
painting schools. During World War II many artists fled
to Sweden. Art practice in Estonia was paralyzed during
the Stalin period, but then regained its life and took
the impression of international modern art.
Jüri Arrak became an internationally acclaimed artist
in the late 1900s, and in the 2000s, Martin Saar has had
success in New York. For Estonia public policy, please
The Minister of Justice resigns
Justice Minister Kristen Michal resigns but denies allegations of
irregularities regarding donations to the Reform Party. The conflict over party
contributions has lowered the party to third place in the opinion, with the
opposition parties Social Democrats and Center Party at the top.
The opposition leader is being investigated by prosecutors
Opposition leader Edgar Savisaar, Center Party, is the subject of the
prosecutor's investigation into suspected money laundering in Switzerland.
Party donations trouble the liberals
Prime Minister Andrus Ansip's Reform Party is accused of questionable
donations to the party fund, similar to money laundering. Justice Minister
Kristen Michal is said to have been driving before his ministerial term. He
refuses but prosecutors initiate a preliminary investigation.
The center portion is shattered
The Leftist Center Party is split when a group of politicians step out and
form their own party group in Parliament.
The Social Democrats do away with Russian-speaking
The opposition party The Social Democrats join forces with the small Russian
party with the intention of winning Russian-speaking voters. Stanislav
Tsherepanov from the Russian Party becomes Vice Party leader under S leader Sven