TALLINN 's Officials from Schibsted, the Norwegian media group with a significant presence in Estonia, finally reacted to accusations of political meddling, saying they did not interfere in making up the editorial content of the group's papers.
Eivind Thomsen, company vice president, wrote in a letter to Estonia's political parties that Schibsted did not interfere into the contents of the group's papers, which include the Postimees. "Schibsted has never had any aim of controlling what editors write in the paper," he told the Baltic News Service on Tuesday.
Officials from five parliamentary parties on Monday sent a letter to the board of the Schibsted group in which they accused the Postimees of favoring the Reform Party. They said the situation in which the country's largest quality, acting on a limited market, was developing into the organ of one political party was worrying.
Thomsen, who is a member of Eesti Meedia's (Estonian Media's) supervisory board, said he hadn't read the five parties' letter and could not comment on it. He added that he keeps informed about the issue through English abstracts of the Estonian press.
The five parties asked whether the paper's support to Reform Party ideology was deliberate or if supervisory board was interfering into the paper's editorial substance.
Publisher of Postimees, Mart Kadastik, said he saw this as a continuation of the media war led by local media businessman Hans H. Luik. "I can tell Luik that I am not confusing business and politics and do not use such tricks," Kadastik was quoted as saying.
Kadastik said that as CEO he decided the contents of the paper, and sometimes this appealed to a party and sometimes it didn't.
"The large readership of Postimees and high credibility, as shown by polls, show that it would be necessary for politicians to