ERR News celebrates tenth birthday

Inside the ERR News House (Uudistemaja), current home of the English-language portal.
Inside the ERR News House (Uudistemaja), current home of the English-language portal. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

ERR News, the English-language portal of Estonia's public broadcaster, this week celebrates ten years since its foundation.

Daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL) announced the arrival of the news site on August 10 2010 (link in Estonian), by which time it had been publishing articles for a few days, saying that its main aim was to provide objective information about Estonia to the international community.

ERR then-board member, journalist Tiina Kaalep, said that a lack of continuous news flow about Estonia, in English, was a gap in the market which needed resolving, something which the broadcaster considered its duty.

Politics, the economy, society, culture and sports were the main topics to be in focus, with the most significant events in the country that could possibly be of interest to those abroad all getting picked up, along with clips from ETV current affairs shows such as "Aktuaalne kaamera", with English subtitles – a service which has since been discontinued.

The ERR News original roster consisted of Estonians Erkki Sivonen and Ott Tammik, EPL reported, along with Americans Kristopher Rikken and Steve Roman, with launch and development consultancy work provided by Scott Diel.

During the past decade the portal has covered, among many other news events, three general elections in Estonia, along with two of each of the European, local and presidential elections, official visits from U.S. President Barack Obama, Pope Francis and various members of European royalty, two national song festivals, Estonia's stint as president of the Council of the European Union, the arrival of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Tapa, and of course the coronavirus pandemic.

Current readership analysis reveals that a bit less than half ERR News' visits come from inside Estonia, with the rest being abroad.

This article was updated to reflect change in proportion of readership inside and outside Estonia.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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