Only small fraction of Russian speakers trust Estonian media, study finds ({{commentsTotal}})

The town of Jõhvi, in Ida-Viru County
The town of Jõhvi, in Ida-Viru County Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

A joint study by the Estonian Institute of Human Rights and Turu-uuringute AS found that 38 percent of ethnic Russians in Estonia would believe Russian media in case of conflicting reports, while 33 percent would believe information from both sides, and only 6 percent would side with Estonian media accounts.

The study found that the level of trust towards the Russian media decreases as the income increases, and among entrepreneurs.

Exactly two-thirds said they would give a public broadcasting Russian-language television channel a chance. A fourth of ethnic Estonians would also tune in. More women and older people would watch Russian-language ERR programming, the same demographic which currently watches more television. Interest towards the channel increases in more educated groups.

When asked if Russia has the right to protect its interests abroad, only 12 percent agreed, and 60 percent said Ukraine has the right to protect its territorial integrity.

Two-thirds of Russian-speakers are not in touch with Estonian media and entertainment. Arvo Pärt is the most known Estonian cultural figure, with 58 percent saying they have heard of him. Lotte, the children's series, is known by 68 percent of the demographic.

Nearly all said, regardless of ethnicity, that learning Estonian is important, while that figure was only 77 percent in Ida-Viru County, which is predominately Russian-speaking. Young people and higher earners were more likely to prioritize Estonia.

Slightly over 40 percent of ethnic Russians in Estonia do not speak any Estonian.

Both ethnic groups support joint kindergartens, with 71 percent of Estonians and 78 percent of Russians backing the idea.