Professor of media innovation at Tallinn University (TLÜ) Indrek Ibrus told Kuku Radio's "Olukorrast ajakirjanduses" talk show that he sees no problem with public broadcaster ERR's online activity as it reflects optimal use of resources and is tied to keeping citizens informed via different platforms. Ibrus recommended ERR pay more attention to innovation.
Hosts Rein Lang and Väino Koorberg discussed Estonian private media companies' complaint to the European Commission over state budget funding for ERR where online news and the Jupiter streaming service are seen as the biggest problems.
Ibrus said he does not perceive a problem with ERR's online activity.
"Claiming that ERR should do nothing online is not accurate. Of course, it should. Because being absent from the internet would render ERR unable to reach the auditorium and bring the people together. It would reduce this general… would mean that we do not know our people or that we do not meet as a people. Which in turn would lead to fragmentation and a general air of conflict. Also, as reflected in this very conflict between the private media and public law media."
Rein Lang asked Ibrus whether ERR's activities have been purposeful over the past three years.
"They are making the effort to ensure minimal information and universality of service. Which is precisely what they are accused of – being active online. I see no problem here – it is optimal use of resources to publish content online and try to be influential there.
Ibrus was critical of the general level of innovation at ERR and said he would like to see something new.
"They (ERR – ed.) are very conservative, boring even for me. They hardly do anything that's innovative or new. To create new value in terms of the public service they offer, considering the altered environment."
Ibrus added that while ERR launched its own streaming service called Jupiter that is perfectly capable technically, it is hardly innovative with its linear television content and passive media consumption focus. Ibrus believes that such platforms should have a feedback and involvement function for the auditorium.
"I understand they do not have a lot of people there (Jupiter – ed.). However, it is also a strategic choice that the institution has made," the professor said.
Editor: Marcus Turovski