Photo: Emil Rundman/Museum of Tampere

1921 The Finnish Union of Journalists (SSL) was founded on 28 March, with 11 member associations. The oldest of these was the Eastern Finnish Journalists’ Association, founded in Vyborg in 1913.

1922 The press card was introduced.

1924 Journalist magazine started publication (its title in Finnish and Swedish: Sanomalehtimies-Journalisten).

1926 The Union was one of the founders of the International Federation of Journalists (FIJ).

1946 The International organization of Journalists (IOJ) founded. The old FIJ petered out amidst the upheavals of World War II.

1947 Foundation of the Nordic Journalists Union.

1949 Finnish Journalists Union leaves the IOJ.

1952 Western journalists’ unions establish a new international union, the International Federation of Journalists. The Finnish Journalists’ Union does not immediately join.

1956 Finnish Journalists’ Union joins the IFJ.

1960 The union established an unemployment fund. The fund grew, as in most cases in its early years it did not have to pay members unemployment benefit.

1967 The Union concluded its first collective bargaining agreement. The agreement was speeded up by a strike ultimatum.

1968 Finland adopts the five-day working week. The Union established the Council for Mass Media, the job of which is to interpret good journalistic practice.

1972 The first strike conducted by the union lasts 10 days and 10 hours. It achieves basic improvements in wages. The agreement has a so-called magazine/periodical protocol amended to it, which within a few years is assimilated with other agreements.

1980 A second strike by journalists lasted for three weeks. The strike results in an agreement to shorten the working week, improve the seniority system and leave benefits and allow editorial departments to hold meetings during working hours.

1988 The union’s third strike concerning collective bargaining resulted in the suspension of YLE transmissions for three weeks.

1992 The union congress alters the name of the Union, replacing the older Finnish name for journalists ‘sanomalehtimies’ with the more ubiquitous and gender neutral ‘Journalisti’. The name of the union in English became the Union of Journalists in Finland.

2005  The Association of Freelance Journalists in Finland (AFJ) is set up and becomes the Union’s 19th member association. AFJ members are mostly freelance journalists working for the press.

2014 Membership became open to all whose work contains essential elements of journalism and whose work is professional in nature.

2021 Documentary released marking union’s 100th anniversary. The documentary, a 13-minute fast paced overview of the history of the union, from its beginnings as a grouping resembling a gentleman’s club to its current manifestation as an organisation of over 14 000 members and 150 workplace shop stewards, and party to nine collective agreements covering different sectors of the industry. Watch documentary here (link to Vimeo).