Media and Sustainable Development

ESG strategy

Ekspress Grupp is the leading media group in the Baltic countries and therefore plays an important role in the development of the society. The Group’s media publications significantly shape the public information space in all its three home markets, i.e. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. As an employer of a considerable size, the Group has an obligation to manage all Group enterprises in an ethical and responsible manner, and to create independent, professional and reliable media content. Our operations are based on the group-wide ESG (environmental-social-governance) strategy created in 2022.

An agreement has been reached within the Group concerning the areas and activities embodying social impact and responsibility.

We wish to be:

Independent and modern content creator

- Always accessible through g of professional staff
- Equal treatment and valuing of diversity ",convenient and attractive digital information solutions
- Content to be created is reliable, journalists are independent and ethical
Attractive employer

- Retention and trainin
Responsibly-managed company

- Open and honest management
- Setting and fulfilment of the goals related to sustainable development
Promoter in society

- Supporting open and participatory democracy
- Addressing topics of major social impact
We raise important topics in the society, draw attention to them, and talk honestly and openly about them.
Journalism plays a clear role and we need to fulfil it. We definitely want to offer balanced journalism and it means that we need to select which topics and how to cover them. High-quality content and provision of balance is becoming more important and yet a more complex challenge.
– Mari-Liis Rüütsalu, CEO of Ekspress Grupp

Our approach to
responsible journalism

Press ethics starts with independence
Journalism needs to be independent and free. The work of journalists and periodicals should not be influenced by business interests, political links, personal relations or gains, bribes or any other benefits. The principles of balanced journalism are followed in all Group companies. Various parties are allowed to express themselves equally and can present counterarguments and, if necessary, corrections. The sources of presented information are always verified. Each journalist is responsible for source and confidentiality protection. In case of sensitive topics, the line of ethics should be perceived.
Standing up for credibility and freedom of expression
The continued and increasingly sharp polarization of the public increases the pressure on media houses to create and present reliable and quality journalistic content in a timely manner.
Comment control by human moderation
Comments are an important part of online publications as they enable the readers to express their views on topics that are important to them. Ekspress Grupp's media publications promote comments by users who are registered and logged in. Inappropriate comments are removed by both human moderators and a machine-learning moderating system.
At times of war and uncertainty, independent journalism has an extraordinary role to play - in addition to informing people 24/7, our publications have a responsibility to all Estonian people to describe and analyse Russia's aggression, show its effects and consequences, while we ourselves must remain calm and determined.
- Urmo Soonvald, Editor-in-Chief of Delfi and Eesti Päevaleht
Content marketing
The Group is convinced that the journalistic content must not be influenced by the interest of advertising clients, content marketing or the organisation of the group's own commercial events. The Group's periodicals have drawn a clear line between advertising and editorial work, content marketing and other content shown for a fee must be recognizable and labelled accordingly.
Advertising sales
All companies of the Ekspress Group adhere to the obligations and restrictions arising from the law in advertising sales.

For Ekspress Grupp, responsible data use in advertising sales is part of our responsibility to our customers, as well as a business opportunity to stand out as a reliable, ethical and transparent advertising platform.
Digital outdoor advertising
For Ekspress Grupp's digital outdoor advertising companies, part of their social responsibility is related to light pollution from advertising screens, which can affect both city residents and road users. Companies take into account the requirements arising from the law and the agreements of good practice of outdoor advertising.
According to the latest surveys, the coronavirus pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the global journalism. The latest annual report of the Reporters without Borders (RSF) reveals that that the situation has sharply deteriorated and journalism is being blocked, either in full or partially, in two-thirds of the 180 observed countries. According to the global press freedom indices, the media in the Baltic States is free – in the chart for 2021, Estonia ranked 15th (2020: 14th), Latvia 22nd (2020: 22nd) and Lithuania 28th (2020: 28th). The ranking of Latvia and Lithuania did not change while Estonia slipped by one spot.
As a responsible content creator, our task is not to treat all Russian-speakers the same. We discussed different connotations of words during the year. We certainly do not avoid the words "Russian" and "Russia" when covering what is happening in Ukraine. However, we agreed not to use hateful terms or colloquialisms that could label local Russians. It is a very sensitive subject. We try to be careful and are constantly learning from our mistakes.
- Filips Lastovskis, Editor-in-Chief of Delfi Latvia
Major topics in 2022

How we transformed the society through raising important topics

Suspicious cost reimbursements in the parliament
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Estonian payday loan companies and their questionable behaviour
On the initiative of Delfi Meedia’s investigative journalism department we raised the issue of Estonian payday loan companies and their questionable behaviour regarding borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes or other assets. The topic helped to speed up the adoption of a legislative amendment in the parliament and the parliamentary legal committee invited our journalists to a meeting to speak and share their insights on the problem.
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Raising the importance of mental health on the political level
One issue that Delfi Meedia’s magazines are focusing on is the mental health of Estonians. We have educated readers on how to detect and handle mental health problems and how others can support people who are affected by it. We have shared specialists’ comments and advice and, more importantly, raised the issue of mental health also on the political level.
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Bypassing sanctions
Delfi Meedia’s investigative journalism discovered after the start of the war that Estonia continued to supply certain oil products to Belarus. After we published our article these oil products were sanctioned both in Estonia and later all over the EU.
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Secret trick to lower the interest rate on an existing home loan
Geenius Meedia article "Secret trick to lower the interest rate on an existing home loan: just ask the bank" sent borrowers to banks to negotiate lower interest rates.
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The Latvian sports community keeps friendly relations with Russia
The Latvian sports community keeps friendly relations with Russia. Delfi Latvia published a story on the Latvian ice hockey coach who continued to coach a KHL ice hockey club and played in Russia also after February 24. After the Latvian Ice hockey Federation was asked for a comment, the federation terminated the coach’s license.
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The mayor of Latvia’s second-largest town could become a serious security threat
Delfi Latvia and other larger public periodicals wrote about an investigation conducted by Latvian security services according to which the mayor of Daugavpils, Latvia’s second-largest town, is spreading pro-Kremlin fake information and could become a serious security threat.
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Journalists who report war news from Ukraine are risking their lives
Delfi Lithuania in 2022 published a documentary Delfi at War which described how journalists who report war news from Ukraine are risking their lives while remaining in the background themselves.
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It is clear that environmental awareness is growing in Europe and also in Lithuania. There is more information available on the climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, pollution and different social problems. Therefore, the public is also more interested in having in-depth knowledge about these issues. At the same time sustainability remains a sensitive issue that some people still prefer to avoid. In this situation it is important to come up with innovative ways on how to talk about sustainability. Tvari Lietuva is the way of Delfi Lithuania to increase interest in sustainability.
- Vytautas Benokraitis, CEO of Delfi Lithuania