Janne Strang Editorial: Helsinki Calling

News Now Finland is an English language digital news service focusing on local and domestic news from Finland - politics, economy, culture, society, crime and Finland's international relations.

0
1111

It is hardly news to anyone that during the last few years, Europe and the West have witnessed a rather strong surge of populist rhetoric in politics, followed and accelerated by a dire shift in the news media landscapes.

And Finland is certainly no exception.

The public has always been right to question the representation of facts in their papers or newscasts, but never before has there been a state of total mistrust by some sectors of society towards every last word in a news outlet.

We live in an online world where Macedonian teenagers can make a decent living by emulating traditional news sites and piling them up with baseless slander, lies and filth about an American presidential candidate. The internet is free, and this is one of the repercussions we’ve had to live with.

We should not, however, have to live in a society where the content of such sites is actually believed and allowed to influence our judgment of reality. This might be a vain hope in today’s onslaught of sludge on the net, but trusting in each others’ capability to distinguish between fiction and reality is quite necessary, and something we must be able to demand.

It is on the waves of this cyber ocean of audience passion, hope and curiosity that we today launch News Now Finland, a vessel weighed by a steady keel of properly done news reporting.

Someone might want to call us old school journalists, but that would only be accurate if there was a new school. Proper news work is still done the same way as always, and adheres to the same journalistic principles as ever. We ask the questions, we report the facts and we connect the dots.

While the news desk tells the story, the editorials take sides and form opinions. Just like it was, like it is, like we believe it should be. And if we get something wrong, we will correct the story promptly.

We recognise the ethical Ground Rules of Journalism as put forward by The Union of Journalists in Finland, as well as the authority of the Council for Mass Media in Finland JSN.

News Now Finland is looking forward to an interesting political and economic autumn in Finland. As the parliament reconvenes from its summer break, approval ratings for PM Juha Sipilä’s centre-right government are at 39.7% percent, an all-time low.

Some of the decline is certainly due to the split of the populist Finns Party in June, which saw both rivaling halves lose support. The fraction that left the populist party after the election of controversial provocateur Jussi Halla-aho as chairman – to be renamed Blue Future – were able to stay in government, but not able to whip up public support of more than two percent.

This will no doubt put the legitimacy of PM Sipilä’s cabinet in question, and will likely be a recurring theme from the opposition, as Sipilä wants to push through some widely unpopular privatisation legislation, as well as next year’s budget.

With these words, we want to welcome you to follow News Now Finland.

On behalf of the editorial board,

Janne Strang