Proposals to monitor the media for bias put forward by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA) will only apply to programs from third countries, Director General Kristi Talving said on Wednesday. She apologized for the confusion.
The discussions surrounding an interview on Tuesday show that the press continues to do a good job as society's watchdog, Talving said.
She stressed the agency should have clarified the new rules would only apply to service providers from countries outside the European Union.
"As the head of the agency, I feel it is important to apologize for any misunderstanding that may have arisen and to clarify once again that the proposal was based on the need to protect the Estonian information space from hostile information attacks from third countries," she said.
On Tuesday, Helen Rohtla, the head of the agency's information society department, told ERR that Estonia should follow Latvia's lead where the media is under greater scrutiny.
Talving said the proposal was submitted during the ideas-gathering stage of amending the Media Services Act.
"The purpose of carrying out pre-screening of non-EU channels wishing to enter the Estonian media market is to prevent the dissemination of information damaging to the information space and endangering security," she said.
The official clarified that many media channels incite anger and broadcast war propaganda and the TTJA has restricted access to these since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Editor: Grete-Liina Roosve, Helen Wright