The classical neutral news has started to disappear from Estonian journalism and an article with Soviet Union connotations has started to replace it, where the opinions and attitudes of the left-wing journalists are gleaming through, a journalism lecturer at the University of Tartu and journalist at Postimees, Priit Pullerits, said in Vikerraadio's morning program.
"The situation is very bad regarding two things. Online journalism is favoring speed and this causes errors, both typos, and errors in facts. The other sad tendency is the classical neutral news is long gone from Estonian journalism and it has been replaced with articles where the opinions and attitudes of the left-wing journalists are gleaming through. Gleaming through unacceptably. I don't see competent and impartial journalists, I see competent journalists who have become social warriors," Pullerits said.
He added that the majority of journalists are leaning towards the left and it can be seen throughout the media.
"Especially regarding one media group but let's be delicate and not name any names. Probably readers with even a bit of critical mind understand what I'm talking about. It makes me furious because journalism is not performing the function it is meant to perform and what it should continue to perform - inform people. Journalism has become attitudinal, tilted and biased. All of those are hateful developments. This tendency needs to be stopped," Pullerits said.
Pullerits said that if he was to reveal where these tendencies might derive from, he would get in conflict with journalism professors.
"I have heard that there's a thought pattern that is given to young people to carry with them through life. With that pattern, they are being shaped and leaned clearly to the left side. And this is the time of formation for young people - the early 20s. Professors are appearing as authorities. It´s the same tendency as in western universities. If we take universities in the USA as an example, they became the bastions of social liberalism a long time ago. These are not universities in their classical sense, they are universities that are shaping your positions and always in the same direction."
Pullerits added that when a young person is getting brainwashed for three to five years, seemingly in the context of university education, then it's clear with what position and attitude he will leave the university.
"He doesn't have his own neutral, objective and critical attitude, instead, he has become a biased warrior. This is negative growth."
However, Pullerits acknowledged Estonia's higher education system where restrictions on his teaching methods and statements haven´t been established.
"But looking at what is happening in western universities where the non-mainstream professors are being muzzled and screamed to silence, then I'm not sure that at one point, the same won't happen in Estonia. Currently, I can speak freely and I try to speak honestly and I have allowed the students to choose for themselves how they want to see things in the world."
Pullerits expressed his concern about the fact that journalists and public relations managers are studying together and he is sad that most of the students are choosing the public relations faculty.
"Perhaps they understand in my courses how difficult journalism is. How much of personal initiative, taking responsibility, and aggressiveness in a good sense, it requires. Versus the job of a public relations manager where you're a pipe as it was said in a TV show. In journalism, you can change the world but in public relations, you are just accompanying. In journalism, you can choose the subject to present to the reader. What journalism offers is much more believable than what comes out of the pipe of an institution. It is masked information that is trying to affect the behavior of the consumers or to shape the image of a company," Pullerits said.
Editor: Roberta Vaino