Sputnik Eesti, who appealed to the Press Council on stories published in ERR, Postimees and Õhtuleht in April was found not to be justified in its accusations by the monitoring organization. The Council ruled against the plaintiff finding that the three media channels had not violated the Estonian Code of Ethics for Journalists.
Sputnik’s complaint was based on their claim that they were not given the right to counter with a public commentary to the published stories.
Actually, the issue began with Sputnik sending biased and provocative questions to the Defence Forces, which could not be answered neutrally. Consequently, the Defence Forces decided to open up the complete text to the public.
The ERR published on its news portal the full text of the Press Council’s decision that since Sputnik published a story on March 2, about a conscript’s shooting incident, they actually initiated the topic and campaign themselves. According to the Press Council, Sputnik’s views on the issues are reflected in the published news.
The decision of the Press Council caused a disturbing reaction from the propaganda channel, in which it accused the Council of creating a precedent that would according to Sputnik, allow journalists to continue to ignore the ethics code. This reaction was anticipated and is very typical. We can now expect attacks from Russian propaganda media towards Estonia due to this decision. Sputnik has already started with them on their own portal.
Photo: A screenshot from the ERR portal.