No. 28

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Against the Wind

  • Helle Ruusing

    Editor-in-Chief, Information Adviser of the Chancellery of the Riigikogu

It is November 2013. Autumn has been unexceptionally long and warm. The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Estonia has resigned. He said he did not have the possibility to have a say in the communication field, that in this field all truth transforms into lies. Culture newspaper „Sirp” became a part of a happening during which real people suffered.

Politics and people creating culture opposed each other. All this is naturally a fruit of a much longer process. A process where the keywords are culture and market economy. Of course it is complicated to measure the processes of culture with the help of economic indicators, but at the same time the state cannot support everything and everybody without any limits either. Fragmentation is a sign of today’s society: new groups, individuals, institutions emerge every day, they all have their followers and likers. From the position of the state, it seems downright impossible to finance them all. It is understandable. But life should be a dialogue, and when the dialogue is cut short, even the strongest minister can do nothing else but resign.

This autumn it has also been asked about the Riigikogu Toimetised what it actually is, who read it and write articles for it, whether the journal has met the purpose set for it. Is the fact that the journal has been continuously published since 2000 in itself a reason for going on with it? It has been necessary to reply to such questions as why the articles of RiTo are so complicated and long, requiring concentration. Is the publishing too expensive (no, it is not, if we look at other publications), shouldn’t the journal be in some other format and more interesting? So that everybody would read all the articles (which publication can meet that requirement?).

In principle you naturally have to ask from yourself from time to time why something is done. In 2000, contributing to promoting of parliamentary democracy was given as the reason for founding of a parliamentary journal. And this reason has not changed. Maybe this reason is even more urgent today. As a journal of the parliament, RiTo has relied on the authority of the parliament. Maybe that has made most of our authors give their articles, their intellectual property for publication for free. It may be that this attitude is outdated in the world where everything has become a product. Over the years, a little less than six hundred authors have written for the journal, and hopefully RiTo has been a springboard into research or journalism for many of them.

Today it is more than ever before important that the results of research work would not remain only inside the walls of universities and research institutions or in scientific articles in the English language, because in that way the research results that concern society pass the society by. And not so much science, but politics and the society are the ones who suffer.

RiTo has always been – and I hope will remain also in the future – a journal of authors where there is room for very different world views and outlooks on life. The only criteria should be the author’s ability to analyse and reason. The length and form of articles and the marketing of the journal have always been of secondary importance. And in the name of good result it is also possible to go against the wind for some time – until you have strength.

Full article in Estonian

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