Summary of ERR News' June 2017 readership survey ({{commentsTotal}})

ERR News' 2017 readership survey.
ERR News' 2017 readership survey. Source: (ERR News, Google Forms)

The survey asked respondents to answer ten questions. At a total of 123 form submissions, the survey is not representative of all of ERR News' readership, but nonetheless gathered a lot of useful information.

Question 1: Up-to-date reporting

Of the 122 people that responded, 81.8 percent say that the most up-to-date source of news about Estonia in English is ERR News, followed by Postimees in English with 6.6 percent, the Baltic Times and Estonian World with 3.3 percent each, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Baltic News Service (BNS) with 0.8 percent. It should be noted that BNS is an agency, not a news portal — to fully access it, readers need a contract.

Other responses to the question regarding the most up-to-date English news source about Estonia included the statement that there wasn't any, as all of the listed publications had shortcomings, and none of them was able to provide a full picture of what is going on in Estonia.

Question 2: Main source of English news about Estonia

92.5 percent of respondents stated that they get their English news about Estonia from ERR News, followed by the Baltic Times with 4.2 percent, and Postimees in English with 3.3 percent.

Question 3: ERR News' focus

73.8 percent of respondents approve of ERR News' focus on politics and business, while 20.5 percent find this focus sometimes boring, and 3.3 percent said they didn't find it interesting at all.

In terms of objectivity vs. bias, 7.4 percent of respondents think ERR News is biased.

Question 4: Bias

Comments left under this question included statements that ERR News at times reads “like a blog”, that ERR's reporting tends to be left-leaning, and that the editors' personal politics tended to “leak into editorials”.

Other statements included complaints that ERR News is “too objective”, as in too dry and in some instances not critical enough—the commentator's comparison being the way in which ERR News has reported on the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE). Readers also found that the editors should be featured more, but providing analysis instead of opinion.

That commenting is free and does not require registration is generally appreciated, with respondents commending the fact that comments are not deleted “at the convenience of the editor”.

Question 5: Stories mix

Politics and general news are popular, with 45.8 percent of respondents stating that they would like to see more articles on these topics as well as related issues. 15.3 percent each spoke out for more culture, interviews, and feature pieces, while 10.2 percent each would like to see more opinion and more business coverage.

Only 3.4 percent found that there could be more galleries and video.

Question 6: Other topics readers would like ERR News to cover

The call for more political coverage continued, with 19.3 percent of commentators complaining about a lack of political stories. 12.3 percent of respondents would like to see more stories about cultural events, 10.5 percent each would like us to run more business and human interest stories.

Local news should be given a higher priority to 8.8 percent of respondents, and 7 percent find that social issues and the social reality of Estonia could be covered better.
5.3 percent each would like to see more sports reporting, and more frequent updates on national defense and the military.

Just under 9 percent find that there should be more stories on minorities, the Russian-speaking community as well as others in Estonia. 3.5 percent each are calling for more stories about start-ups and specific information for local expatriates.

There were nine more topics mentioned by one respondent each: International relations, Estonians abroad, environmental issues, immigration and integration, crime, nature, the weather, and shareable updates about major holidays.

Question 7: Where ERR News is seen

37.7 percent of respondents stated that they had found ERR News through ERR's Estonian website. With 30.3 percent, Facebook is the second most popular channel through which people read us, followed by 18 percent who stated that ERR News had been recommended to them.

13.1 percent stated that they found us through Google, 9 percent mentioned Twitter, and 4.9 percent made it to the portal using a direct link.

Question 8: Number of stories published per day

Of 121 respondents, 62 percent found the current volume of daily updates to be enough. 8.3 percent found that the number of updates is too high, while 29.8 percent would like to see more.

Question 9: ERR News' accuracy

While 90 percent of respondents think that ERR News' reporting is accurate, 10 percent found that it reports what is happening in Estonia inaccurately.

Question 10: Other points and comments

Throughout all of the comments made there is a call for more context in ERR News' reporting. Part of the respondents see reading ERR News as an “exercise in frustration”, as they could never sort out what exactly had led up to a particular situation or event reported by ERR News.

Suggestions as to other media ERR News could use included subtitled video content picked up from ERR's TV channels as well as a podcast. In terms of media as well as the current output, most of the respondents who commented on this last question agree that the number of updates should not be increased at the expense of quality.

Several respondents expressed the wish that ERR News' resources be extended to allow for proper culture coverage as well as well-researched human interest stories.

Other calls for additional topics and a different focus included the suggestion that ERR News should report more on Estonians abroad.

Recurring complaints included the fact that there weren't enough in-depth stories, that there wasn't enough comment, controversy, and investigative journalism, and that ERR News should offer its readers short briefs on the country's parties, parliament, and other aspects of the state.

Editor: Dario Cavegn