Experts: Russian-Language TV Must Focus on Quality Content on Estonian Life ({{commentsTotal}})

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Media experts say the new Russian-language public broadcasting television channel, approved by the government last week, must win over viewers with quality programming about everyday life in Estonia.

Vitali Belobrovtsev, a lecturer at Tallinn University, said the channel, which is planned to begin next year, has to offer viewers something they have been missing. He said the only edge it would have over competitors is that it would talk about what is happening in Estonia - with local people about local events.

Indrek Ibrus, an adviser on audiovisual media to the Estonian Ministry of Culture and a research fellow at Tallinn University, said there is currently no Russian-language channel that provides an objective look at life in Estonia. “They do not do it a way which would help the Russian-language population of Estonia. They talk about life in Russia and elsewhere in the world.”

Ibrus said the channel should also have such shows as “Õnne 13,” a drama series which has been running for more than 20 years on ETV.

Both men said the focus should not be on entertainment but propose that a few game shows should be thrown into the mix.

ERR board member Aivar Ruussaar said the question is about motivating the potential audience to switch to watching the new channel.

He told Eesti Päevaleht the project would need an annual budget of at least 2.5 million euros; otherwise, he said, the channel would fade into obscurity.