Ansip Slams Press Over Campaign Coverage ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has said that he feels some journalists have given up their roles as truth seekers and have turned into advocates for political parties.

Speaking at the Cabinet's press conference on Thursday, Ansip said that the media has centered on what he called the pseudo news of symbolic candidates instead of election ad fraud by the Social Democrats.

By symbolic candidates, the Prime Minister was referring to high-ranking politicians who are running for local offices, but in reality are not expected to give up their MP or ministerial positions for municipal council seats. Postimees reported on Thursday that 93 out of 101 MPs have put their names forward in the upcoming local elections.

“In most European countries everyone can run for office, it is their constitutional right and any attempt to ridicule or belittle that is not right,” the PM said.

At the end of August it emerged that a 41,692-euro ad invoice for the Social Democrats had not been disclosed as a campaign expense during the 2011 elections. The leadership of the party attributed the mistake to human error.

Ansip, however, criticized journalists for not looking into the matter.

Ansip said that as TV airtime is measured by the second, there should be enough material for journalistic investigation. He added that he has not read any opinion pieces on the subject either.

He said he feels that recently, some journalists have begun to behave like the fifth party in Parliament, or even as advocates of one of the four parties represented.