Savisaar accuses media of right-wing bias

  • 2009-12-08
  • Oskars Magone

Savisaar claimed that the media in Estonia under-reported on cases that could damage the ruling parties ahead of elections (photo courtesy of Keskerakond)

TALLINN - Center Party leader and Tallinn City Mayor Edgar Savisaar has accussed the Estonian media of being controlled by right wing political interests, particularly by the Reform Party.

At the Keskerakond (Center Party) congress, Savisaar claimed that the media in the country was "in chains."

"There is as little press freedom in Estonia today than there was during the Soviet regime. The watchdog of democracy is in chain. Instead of investigative journalism we have blatant government propaganda and entertainment," he said.

Savisaar, a former prime minister of the country, pointed specifically to a number of cases that he claims the local media failed to report on until after the elections in order to produce a more favorable opinion of the ruling party among the electorate.

He mentioned both the Kaur Hanson case, in which the defendant is accussed of child molestation, and the Hermann Simm case, in which Simm was accused of selling NATO secrets, as examples of times that the media either failed to report or under-reported stories that might have damaged the reputation of the ruling right-wing parties.

"The media have not explained why Hermann Simm's cover was blown not by the counterintelligence service of Estonia, but foreign countries. But when the police investigate a case of gift coupon allegedly given to some Centre Party member, the media are covering it online 24 hours a day,” he said.

The Tallinn city mayor also praised Justice Minister Rein Lang for his work on a law that will force journalists to reveal their sources.