Broad press freedom was a major outcome of Estonia’s liberation from the Soviet regime. Among CEE countries, Estonia was the first to inaugurate the ideas of media accountability, self-regulation, and a Press Council. The tradition of the Estonian language press acting as an agent of 19th-century nation-building and 20th-century national survival advanced the accountability concept. Journalism education in Estonia (established 1954) subtly supported national values over Soviet ones. Hence, most journalists developed a professional identity in line with democratic values and cynical attitudes about communist ideology. The idea of socially responsible media was implicitly present in this professional identity. Competition and commercialization in the 1990s and 2000s have undermined furthering the practice of media accountability. Traditional MAIs (press councils, ombudsman and ethical code) have little authority among journalists and the public, whereas online MAIs are still embryonic and uninfluential.