Political neutrality or editorial slant? Comparing coverage and content of Estonia’s largest nationwide daily newspapers



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Tartu Ülikool


This thesis studied whether there exists a form of media bias in the two of the largest news outlets Postimees and Eesti Päevaleht in Estonia. The study coded a combination of 258 editorials that were taken from the timeframe between 26th of October of 2020 to 26th of April of 2021. The found data was used to compare the outlets differences in issue bias and framing bias. Issue bias consists of the coverage of policy issues, policy actors, and an ideological leniency. Framing bias consists of an outlet providing either positive or negative opinions and statements on political actors that would show either preferences towards political actors or a strong deviation from media neutrality. The analyses showed differences in policy issue coverage but not in political actor coverage. Furthermore, an ideological leniency was not detected for either outlet. Both outlets showed a deviation from media neutrality with average negative scores towards both political actors and respective coalitions in the timeframe. Moreover, Eesti Päevaleht was found to be much more negative and likely to criticise political actors whilst the attitudes of Postimees were comparatively less often and milder.