Doctoral Dissertation

8.11.2018 MA Urmas Loit (Facul­ty of Hu­ma­ni­ties and Social Sciences, Journalism)


8.11.2018 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Seminaarinmaki , S212
MA Urmas Loit defends his doctoral dissertation in Journalism "Implementation of media governance: A liberal approach in the context of a small market".

Opponent Professor Michal Glowacki (Uniwersytet Warszawski, Poland) and Custos Professor Epp Lauk (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.


The thesis analyses the implementation mechanisms of media policy in Estonia. The main research problem gradually evolved during the author’s participation in several international media policy research groups and reporting.

Compared to many other Central and Eastern European countries, media freedom in Estonia is rigidly upheld, the principle of net-neutrality has never been in doubt and public access to information is not restrained. Still, the research done has exhibited a decline in both the number of journalists and their autonomy. On these contradictions, identifying the actors in media, political and public domains enables the study to ask about the activity of every actor and the values they advocate.

The empirical research has been published in nine works (seven entries and two addenda) of which three focus on journalism and journalists, five on various regulation systems and one specifically with the cultural development of one media channel – radio.

The thesis’ cover text provides the empirical research outcome with a frame. The author connects the values for media policy – freedom, autonomy, diversity and pluralism – and the applied analysis of media policy with the ‘actor-approach’.

Analysis of the results of the empirical research indicate that the decline in journalists’ autonomy derives from business profit opportunities, because Estonia does not have a strong union for journalists and the professional community shows little intent in defending their values.

Innovatively, this thesis suggests a two-dimensional assessment model for media governance. This model offers the means to link the legislative framework to monitoring the activities of various actors. This kind of monitoring is relevant to account for contextual changes over time, which impact on particular actors during media governance planning.

Keywords: media policy; media governance, actor-approach, digital media, radio, broadcasting, pluralism, accountability, values, Estonian media.

More information

Urmas Loit