The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set up a regular podcast aimed at raising awareness of foreign policy among citizens. The series, produced by Delfi, cost €12,000 to put together.
Head of PR at the foreign ministry Mihkel Tamm told ERR that: "The 'Välispoliitika kompass' (English: Foreign policy compass) podcast is set to run from September to December, with a total of 15 episodes. The cost of the whole series comes to €12,000."
The podcasts will be broadcast via the Delfi Tasku environment; Mihkel Tamm had previously been head of news at daily Eesti Päevaleht (EPL), part of the same media group as Delfi, prior to starting work at the foreign ministry.
However he stressed to ERR that the choice of Delfi Tasku was unrelated to his previous workplace and had been the result of a tender process.
"In order to publish the series, we asked for a quote from both Delfi and Postimees, who are actually the only providers of podcast platforms in Estonia; Delfi was selected since Postimees did not prepare an offer," Tamm went on.
The podcast series has several goals, he said.
"Via experts and spokespersons from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it will offer an insight into topical foreign policy topics, to discuss through the media the core topics important to Estonia's foreign policy, and to explain and bring these closer to the citizens. An explanation of the formation of foreign policy trends," Tamm went on.
"Meanwhile, it will also provide an opportunity to showcase foreign policy more widely, popularizing it and raising awareness, which in turn supports the formation of citizens' views on Estonia's foreign and security policy. In short, the series allows us to talk about what is happening in the world and why, plus how Estonia's foreign policy fits in with all that," he added.
The choice of podcasts as a medium was born out of a desire to try other up-to-date and popular channels and to broaden the ministry's reach, Tamm said.
The podcast is already online; feedback has been positive, Tamm added, and the shows have been found to be interesting and educational, though it is difficult to put a viewing figure in numbers just yet.
A previous TV documentary "Tagalas" was made for the foreign ministry in the past, on the same budget line, by public broadcaster ERR and shown on ETV, Tamm noted.
The ministry is not the only public or state body to use Delfi's paid podcasting service: The Estonian court system also does so, for instance.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mari Peegel