I started to work as a reporter and editor at Ekspress Meedia, more specifically at Eesti Päevaleht slightly more than a year ago – in September 2018. I had always been a bit apprehensive of this media house because to me it seemed to have a very powerful identity — what if I will not fit in for some reason? When I came here I understood that it is greatly the journalists who are responsible for creating the identity of periodicals, and they come in all shapes and sizes, and thus I felt accepted and at ease. My coming here was greatly a coincidence of circumstances and now I feel that there is no other place on the Estonian media landscape where a journalist can be more independent and creative in writing stories than here.
My key tasks include coming up with up-to-date and meaningful topics for news. For that, one needs to constantly keep an eye on what is happening in the society and make sense of it for oneself. I turn the best ideas into stories for which I communicate with various sources, personally attend events, read documents, collect information in any way possible and turn it into an integrated story — if needed, with interactive solutions, photos, videos and other attractive features —, from which the reader will find out something new, that is engaging to read and that thoroughly analyses what is going on in the society.
The most pleasant part about the work of a journalist is that no day is like another. As the journalists at Eesti Päevaleht have indeed a lot of freedom to cover the topics that are of interest to themselves, I can delve into the little worlds that fascinate me the most. Thus, the life of a journalist is a little bit like living many different lives: I believe no other profession allows you to reflect that deeply upon so many different areas, professions, topics and problems as that of a journalist.
At times, it is sometimes difficult as a journalist to navigate between the desire to tell important stories and the fact that we all work at a business with specific goals. The entire Estonian journalism wrestles with similar problems: how to preserve integrity in a world where false statements are often regarded only as “alternative information”, how to make a profit when digital giants steal the majority of the advertising revenue and how to attract a reader who easily succumbs to lower desires and tell him stories that a more complicated but really matter. The key near-term challenge for Ekspress Meedia will be how to attract devoted readers on digital platforms as the paper world is disappearing. Hopefully we will have lots of subscribers five years from now who trust the periodicals of Ekspress Meedia, consistently subscribe to them despite a free information flow so that journalists would be also able to support themselves with their work. I also hope that journalists in turn will tell their stories with more captivating interactive solutions, some of which will be beyond our comprehension at the moment. Perhaps people can even enter the story in virtual reality and experience it themselves. I believe that in five years’ time the role of journalists in separating the significant from the insignificant and facts from somebody’s business or other interests will be even greater. I hope that some journalists will be left by then who are ready to fulfil this complex role and that media companies will discover operating business models that support this endeavour.
For those who wish to apply for a job at the companies of Ekspress Grupp I recommend they go for it. We cannot cope here very well without curiosity and enthusiasm — if somebody is already planning to apply for a job he/she probably possesses these traits.