Police chief named press friend of the year, Kilk press foe
In an annual tradition dating back to 1994, the Estonian Newspaper Association (EALL) has named the year's most press friendly figure and the most unfriendly figure, with police chief Elmar Vaher named the former and businessman Rein Kilk the latter.
Vaher, who heads the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, will receive the 22th golden megaphone. Previous winners include Heili Sepp for criticizing the Reform Party, Allar Jõks (twice), Ingrid Rüütel, Lennart Meri and Mart Laar.
EALL director Mart Raudsaar said Vaher has brought a breath of fresh air to the police force, adding that he sets an excellent example to others on of how to give out information and how to conduct oneself in the media.
Kilk received the award for least press friendly figure for threatening authors and book shops with lawyers after a book about him was published. The book “Kaval Kilk ja 12 lolli” (translated as “Cunning Kilk and the dozen idiots”) describes Kilk's business methods, which the authors describe as being less than honorable.
Kilk told ERR the award came as a surprise. “I am not worthy belonging to such an honorable group, as it is too much to name me on a list with Lennart Meri, Edgar Savisaar, Andrus Ansip, Rein Lang and Toomas Hendrik Ilves,” he said. Meri was the first foe of the press in 1994 and again in 1999, Savisaar received the award in 1995, Ansip in 2007, Lang in 2004, 2009 and 2013 and Ilves in 2010.
Elron CEO Andrus Ossip won the golden megaphone last year, while Olympic Committee President Neinar Seli was named the most unfriendly person toward the press.