Peter Limbourg, the Director General of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), and Ainar Ruussaar, a board member of Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR), signed an agreement between the two organizations, with DW expected to support the new Russian language TV-channel ETV+.
The two broadcasters will start exchange and co-produce TV-programs. DW Akademie will also offer training for Estonian journalists.
The agreement includes help and support for the new Russian-language ETV+, currently in development by ERR. DW will offer its Russian program “Geofaktor aktuell” and other TV-shows that are usually aimed at Russian-speaking population.
The topics will range from culture to environment and health, rather than hard politics. “With our programs, we want to help along at getting the neutral information across to the local Russian-speaking minority, who are used to following the Russian media,” Limborg said. Similar agreements were also signed with Latvian and Lithuanian broadcasters.
Ruussaar expressed hope that the cooperation with DW will raise the quality of ETV+. “Our new Russian TV-channel needs good content and DW offers plenty of engaging and interesting material.”
The cooperation plan was first disclosed by the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier during his working visit to Tallinn in April, who announced that Germany and Estonia will start cooperating in the media sphere, with the aim of counterbalancing Russian propaganda.
The two countries intend to cooperate in public media sphere, with the aim of strengthening civil society, promoting education and counterbalancing Russian disinformation. Steinmeier stressed in Tallinn that these measures are not meant to respond to Russian propaganda with their own methods, but rather to make sure that neutral information reaches the audiences. “You cannot combat propaganda with counter-propaganda in a democratic society,” he said.
Editor: S. Tambur