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The Estonian print media evolved into a diverse and widespread system in the beginning of WW I. In the 1920s and 1930s a free and independent journalism developed, which was increasingly repressed since the beginning of the Soviet occupation. From 1945 to 1988 the newspapers and other media channels were part of an ideological media system, in which the communist party controlled the contents. The following independence of Estonia initiated a rapid development of the media business; several old actors were revived and new ones established. In the 1990s, more and more media actors started their business in Estonia, but because of the consequentially increased competition merging into bigger corporations became common. These newly established media groups were often bought by foreign investors. The same tendency continued in the 21st century, which is why many media actors in Estonia are owned by foreign investors today.
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