Ensuring adequate public awareness in democratic societies has become increasingly intricate. As a result of Estonia's geopolitical location, it is a special challenge to connect Estonian and Russian-speaking communities in a common information field. Media surveys made in the first half of the 2010s showed clearly that the Estonian information field was radically polarized by media languages. Russian-speaking audiences primarily followed Russian state TV channels, while ethnic Estonians watched Estonian television channels. With intention to change this situation, Estonian Public Broadcasting launched a new Russian-language TV channel, ETV+, in 2015. This chapter analyzes the changes in opinions of Estonian- and Russian-speaking communities on the importance and trustworthiness of different information sources; the satisfaction of these communities with the content and activities of Estonian Public Broadcasting; and the impact of the launch of Russian-language public service television channel ETV+ on the viewing time of (Russian state) TV channels in Estonia. Four comprehensive media consumption and audience satisfaction surveys (2010, 2014, 2017 and 2019; n = 1000), yearly television audience surveys (2010-2021), and statistics from institutional credibility monitoring are used. The conclusions drawn may be relevant to public service media in other EU countries where such systems face similar problems.
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ERR broadcasts three television channels (ETV, ETV 2, and ETV+), five radio channels (Vikerraadio, Raadio 2, Klassikaraadio, Raadio 4, Raadio Tallinn), and has web portals in Estonian, Russian, and English.
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Jõesaar, A. (2022). Building Bridges: Estonian- and Russian-Speaking TV Audiences and the Value of Estonian Public Service Broadcasting, 2010–2020. In: Chakars, J., Ekmanis, I. (eds) Information Wars in the Baltic States. The Palgrave Macmillan Series in International Political Communication. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-99987-2_5
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-99986-5
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-99987-2