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
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
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