Estonian Press Council and online news portals sign agreement

April 23, 2003. Estonia's voluntary self-regulatory Press Council (Pressinõukogu) and internet news portals signed an agreement on April 8 under which the Press Council will handle complaints regarding the journalistic content of these sites. News portals, which are not attached to traditional newspapers, agree to conform to the Estonian code of press
ethics and undertake the obligation to honour the Press Council's rulings on them.

Three internet service providers (AS Delfi, Tele2 Eesti AS and Eesti Telefon), which operate news portals, informed the Press Council in December 2002 that they recognize the Press Council as the media's self-regulatory body to handle complaints from the public. The portals also said they recognize the Estonian code of press ethics.

As newspaper web sites are already within the bounds of the Press Council, it was considered a logical next step to start accepting complaints from the public also about news portals which are not linked to a traditional newspaper.

The news portals and newspaper online editions already have self-regulation in place on the level of their own operation: notice and take down.

The Press Council was set up by the Estonian Newspaper Association in August 2002 as a non-statutory body of press self-regulation to handle complaints from the public about the printed press. The Press Council replaces a previous self-regulatory body, Avaliku Sõna Nõukogu, which was hit by a crisis after its chairman Urmas Loit was given a vote of no confidence by the newspaper industry over his failure to tackle conflicts of interest and

Press Council of Estonia


Estonian Newspaper Association

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

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