Jan 30, 2003.
Estonia's new voluntary self-regulatory Press Council
(Pressinõukogu) decided at the end of December 2002 to agree to a
request from internet news portals to handle complaints regarding
the journalistic content of these sites.
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.
So far, no complaint about an on-line item has been lodged with the
Three internet service providers, which operate news portals,
informed the Press Council that they recognize the Press Council as
the self-regulatory body to handle complaints from the public. They
also said they recognize the Estonian code of press ethics.
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 ethics.