NIE Election Special takes Estonian schools by storm

Tallinn, Feb 22, 1999 - With two weeks to go to the Estonian parliamentary elections, teachers have enthusiastically welcomed a Newspapers in Education (NIE) election package, prepared by the Estonian Newspaper Association. A crowded hall of 120 teachers attended an election seminar in the Estonian capital Tallinn on February 15, where teachers received the Election Newspaper and a set of election-related exercises to be used in the classroom.

The Election Newspaper, published by the Estonian Newspaper Association, is designed to give students an idea of what elections are and how the press covers elections. Publication was made possible thanks to a grant from the Open Estonia Foundation (funded by multimillionaire philanthropist George Soros).

When compiling the Election Newspaper, its authors took similar study aids from other countries as a model. Use has been made of material kindly presented, among others, by Use the News from the US, the Gazette in Education, Montreal, Quebec, and the NIE project in Finland.

The Election Newspaper is the second in the Estonian Newspaper Association's series of Newspaper about the Newspaper. The first one, published in 1998, was devoted to newspaper genres and styles.

The agenda of the Election Seminar included two presentations. Tarmu Tammerk, Managing Director of the Estonian Newspaper Association, spoke on media at election time. Political scientist Anu Toots talked about the party- political landscape on the eve of the parliamentary elections. The seminar was concluded by an exchange of experience between teachers on the use of newspapers in the classroom.

The high turnout for the seminar surpassed the expectations of the organizers. Among the participants were teachers of civic education, history , Estonian language, foreign languages and other subjects.

The huge interest had a downside, too - last-minute applicants had to be turned down as there was standing room only. But the Election Newspaper will continue to be topical as Estonia will have another election this year: in October, new local government bodies will be elected.

Among upcoming NIE activities, the Estonian Newspaper Association plans to stage a pan-Baltic NIE conference in August 1999, with assistance from the World Association of Newspapers.

More information: Tarmu Tammerk, Managing Director of the Estonian Newspaper Association, tel +372 646 1005, e-mail


Estonian Newspaper Association

Pärnu mnt 67A
10134 Tallinn Estonia
Tel. +372 646 1005
Fax. +372 631 1210

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