President emphasizes importance of free media in Estonia's development

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President Kersti Kaljulaid emphasized the importance of free media in Estonia's development on World Press Freedom Day on Monday.

"The current face of Estonia, together with all the laugh and worry lines, has been shaped by the Estonian people themselves. Global politics, global warming, technological developments and many other factors have also shaped this face. But it would definitely not have been possible for the state and society to undergo such development in 30 years if we had not had a free, independent and strong press," Kaljulaid wrote on social media.

She said the constant and effective competition of media houses, dedicated writers and creators of moving or still images, as well as demanding readers, viewers and listeners have helped hold the flag of free media and free speech high.

"Has all this just happened? No, it has not. It has been made and built by ourselves step by step. It is the joint contribution of our media houses' managers and owners, journalists and cameramen, photographers and editors, including politicians and officials and everyone else. Like most of Estonia's success story, which in retrospect seems so logical and often the only possible way -- in its time, these developments have always meant making constant choices and making decisions," the head of state said.

Kaljulaid said on World Press Freedom Day, one can rejoice at where these choices and decisions have led. "Free speech and a free press are well maintained in Estonia, created and protected, again and again, every day. There are also developments that may not let one rejoice completely, but I believe that keeping a certain vigilance will only benefit freedom," Kaljulaid added.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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