ESTONIA. Risks and Opportunities Related to Media and Journalism Studies (2000–2020). Case Study on the National Research and Monitoring Capabilities.



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Estonian media research was institutionalized in the 1970s and until the first decade of the 21st century media and journalism research was steadily improving. In 2013 communication and media studies at University of Tartu was ranked between 51 and 100 (QS World University Rankings 2021), in 2020 between 201-220. After 2014/2015 the media monitoring capabilities have signs of degradation. Above all, the decrease in research and monitoring resources is caused by the worsening of the financing situation of Estonian science and higher education. Secondly, Estonian policy makers’ interest in media usage and media developments has been small and random. Therefore, the media usage data is mainly collected by commercial monitoring organizations, the data is not accessible for public institutions. In the 21st century, journalism and communication research has been carried out, to a large extent, under the umbrella of various European research projects, in which Estonian researchers have successfully participated. Journalism, media accountability and media usage domains are relatively well covered with studies and data, while in case of legal regulation and media competencies domains the RO analysis can only lean on fragmentary case studies. Key actors concerning data collection and knowledge producers are individual researchers, courts, Data Protection Inspectorate, Statistics Estonia, media monitoring companies, and media organizations.