The Russian-speaking minorities of the Baltic countries are increasingly dependent on media content from Russia. Considering the social integration of linguistic minorities, this is a worrying trend. Since 2015, the Nordic Council of Ministers has funded independent Russian-language media outlets in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
The Nordic Committee for Co-operation discussed the Baltic media programme at its meeting on 28 October, and decided to set aside just over DKK 2 million to continue the programme until the end of 2021.
“It is in the Nordic Region’s interest to support initiatives in the Baltic countries that promote the ability of Russian-speaking minorities to participate in the social development of countries around the Baltic Sea,” says the Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Paula Lehtomäki.
The media programmes of the Baltic countries have so far followed three parallel paths. The further training of journalists, media awareness for young people, and the funding of independent media production. The programmes now being funded focus solely on media production funding.
Funding is awarded on an application basis and is given to high-quality journalistic production in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in the Russian language. The objective of this is to support the Russian-speaking population’s integration in local society, and to enable Russian speakers to actively engage in political decisions, discussions, and debates.
A separate funding programme for Estonia’s public service broadcaster ETV for the Russian-language television channel ETV+ will also continue.
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