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The Baltic Times

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A weekly english newspaper highlighting news, business and culture issues of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

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      25.07.2009 23:20
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      The Baltic Times was up until now one of the most trustworthy sources of news in the Baltic countries - it had an external view point with foreign journalists free of any biases, it is independently owned and it is small enough not to have industry influences making problems for the staff.

      That was until recently when the management decided not to pay its staff and routed the editorial team and replaced them with local journalists. Since then the paper has stopped producing journalism, and instead makes "churnalism" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Churnalism).

      The staff are now no longer international, but all Russian speaking - a bone of contention in the Baltic states where the Russian minorities are not sufficiently integrated into mainstream society, which leads to problems.

      Not only that, they are all part time, meaning that the churnalism they produce will not be of sufficient quality.

      The downfall of The Baltic Times has been met with grief by the international and diplomatic communities in the three countries, which use The Baltic Times as an outside viewpoint to cross reference other opinions.

      The readership of The Baltic Times is unknown except that it is English speakers with an interest in one or all of the three Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

      According to the company website, its readership is somewhere above 50,000 for the print version and more for the website, but these numbers aren't substantiated in any way.

      Advertising is little in the paper, which is filled with stock photos and churnalism.

      It is extremely hard to buy the paper if you aren't in the tourist centre of Riga. It is also very expensive at around 1.20 for a paper.

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