Minority language media and journalists in the context of societal integration in Estonia


  • Maria Jufereva University of Jyväskylä, Department of Communication
  • Epp Lauk University of Jyväskylä, Department of Communication


minority language media, Estonia, societal integration


The article focuses on the role of Russian-speaking journalists and the potential of Russian-language media in advancing societal integration in Estonia. As a consequence of socialist colonization during the Soviet regime a quarter of Estonian population today is Russian-speaking. The two main language communities have different informational spaces separated by a language barrier. Integration can only be successful if there is unhampered communication between minority and majority groups, and equal opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in the public sphere. First, we discuss the concept of minority language media and the position of Russian-language media in the context of societal integration in Estonia. Using a quantitative survey we depict the current professional status of Estonian Russian-speaking journalists, and display their perceptions about their role in integration. We conclude that Russian-speaking journalists perceive themselves as mediators between Estonian and Russian communities, but are not positive about the possibilities of Russian-language media to fulfil their task as representatives of the minority.