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Estonia Should Buy Airtime on Russian TV, Proposes ERR Journalist

Ekaterina Taklaja, editor in chief of ERR's Russian-language service, said the Estonian government should buy airtime on Baltic Russian-language TV channel PBK to combat Russian propaganda, saying it would be more effective than starting from scratch with a new outlet and trying to win over viewers.

The idea of increasing focus on the Russian-language information sphere in the Baltics surfaced after the crises in the Ukraine, with ideas such as creating a Baltic-wide television channel in Russian or going more local like creating ETV3, a third TV channel at ERR, which would be in Russian, Taklaja said in an opinion piece published in before the Easter break.

She said those attempts are likely to fail as few, if any, local Russian journalists have been asked for their take and most viewers are used to PBK, which is privately owned, and will be hard to win over. She said it can not be simply a matter of creating a local entertainment content in hope that Russians would prefer it to the high quality programs produced on Russian television.

Besides PBK, there are plenty of channels available that are run from Russia, with budgets far higher than anything the Baltics could afford.

Taklaja said different opinions from one channel would have a greater effect on viewers and it would be far cheaper than setting up new TV stations.

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