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Council for Mass Media turns 50 – exhibition “From Scandal to Scandal” touring Finland

Should irate feedback from the Prime Minister impact news reporting? When is it right to mention the skin colour of a criminal suspect? And should you interview a celebrity when they’re the worse for booze?

The Finnish media watchdog, the Council for Mass Media (CMM), is marking its 50th anniversary this year with a travelling exhibition covering its five turbulent decades that kicks off this week at the Rauma Town Library.

The exhibition, titled From Scandal to Scandal, covers such things as the the furore over a 2009 TV programme concerning former prime minister Matti Vanhanen, the communications between the current PM Juha Sipilä and the public broadcaster, and the handling by the self-regulatory CMM of the over the top scandal journalism of Hymy magazine in the 1970s.

The exhibition, which will tour libraries in various towns and cities in Finland, also introduces visitors to journalistic ethics and what constitutes responsible journalism. Visitors are prompted to contemplate the sorts of decisions they would have taken at CMM meetings. You can also test yourself on how well you can spot hidden advertising

Says CMM chair Elina Grundström: “The self-regulation of the Finnish media is among the best in the world. Its essence is not the CMM but the daily ethical choices made by editorial offices. I hope that the exhibition will make the work of quality journalism visible throughout Finland.

“We’ve particularly had young people in mind in putting together the exhibition. We hope that it’ll give journalists, schools, and libraries an easy was to arrange small-scale events – such as forums where journalists can field questions from the public.”

Grundström says that public interest in the subject seems to be great. “The libraries booked up the exhibition in just a few hours.”

CMM anniversary programme

The CMM was established in Helsinki on 10 December 1968. The exhibition is part of the anniversary programme. This includes media education materials for schools, which will be published later this year, and a website that illustrates the significance to ordinary media consumers of the Guidelines for Journalists that journalists operate under. Further information about this is forthcoming.

The exhibition has been prepared by the Newspaper Museum, and its content produced with funding from the Kone Foundation. The content has been done by former CMM general secretary Ilkka Vänttinen, together with Pasi Kivioja and Sakari Ilkka. The visual design of the exhibition is the work of Pekka Vartiainen.


Exhibition venues and dates during 2018

January, weeks 2-3 Rauma City Library
Jan-Feb, weeks 5-7 Kouvola Main Library 
Feb-Mar, weeks 9-11 Raisio Library
Mar – Apr, weeks 13-15 Toholampi Municipal Library
Apr – May, weeks 17-19 Keuruu Town Library 
May – Jun, weeks 21-23 Kemi City Library
Jun – July, weeks 25-28 Vaasa City Library
July – Aug, weeks 30-32 Kannus City Library
Aug – Sept, weeks 34-36 Hamina Main Library
Sept – Nov, weeks 39-47 Newspaper Museum, Helsinki
Dec – Feb, weeks 50-7/2019 Rupriikki Media Museum, Tampere

More precise details available from each of the venues.