ERR trust rating 83% among Estonians, 46% among Russians
Even though Turu-uuringute AS' latest poll suggests trust in ERR remains relatively high, a slight downward trend is noticeable.
The polling company's latest survey put the public broadcaster's general trust rating among 15 to 74-year-olds at 71 percent as of the end of 2015.
While the rating has hovered above the 80 percent mark among Estonians in recent years, trust came down 5 percent among Estonians and 9 percent among Russian-speakers in 2011-2015.
At the end of last year ERR was trusted by 83 percent of Estonians and 46 percent of non-Estonians, with the latter figure dropping more noticeably in 2015 after having stayed above 50 percent for several years before.
One third of non-Estonians said they cannot assess the organization's trustworthiness.
ETV+ launch affected by eastern propaganda
Chairman of the board of ERR Margus Allikmaa admitted that additional surveys are probably needed to ascertain the reason for falling trust rating among the Russian-speaking auditorium.
"However, getting ahead of myself, I dare say local Russians were intimidated by ETV+ as they were made to see ERR as a big propaganda machine," Allikmaa said.
He added that this is the reason why the new Russian program needs to reshape the attitudes of its viewers. "Now, when it is clear that the reality is completely different from fears, in other words the picture Kremlin-minded sources attempted to paint, we must hope the Russian audience's trust in ERR will start rising again."
Controversial topics have had little effect on trust
When commenting on trust shown by the Estonian-speaking auditorium, Allikmaa said that sharp disputes that split society last year have had little effect on ERR's credibility. The chairman said that it comes as a sign of good work done by journalists in covering topics related to both refugees and the cohabitation act in a balanced and inclusive manner.