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Elina Grundström new chairperson of the Council for Mass Media

Freelance journalist and nonfiction author appointed to head media watchdog for next four years.

The managing group of the Council for Mass Media in Finland has appointed the organisation’s first full-time chairperson, Elina Grundström, 52. Ms Grundström will take up the position from the beginning of 2016. She takes over from Risto Uimonen, who has headed the media watchdog since 2010.

Ms Grundström will chair the CMM for four years. The same person can hold the position for a maximum of two terms.

The CMM’s new chair has a masters degree in political science and has wide-ranging experience of the media terrain. Her positions have included being editor-in-chief of the biweekly magazine Vihreä Lanka from 2006-2010, editor of the student magazine Ylioppilaslehti from 1989-1990, and visiting professor of journalism at the University of Tampere. She has written several non-fiction books and is well known as an outspoken columnist and an expert on freedom of expression. She has also worked as a journalist and producer for the magazine Markkinointi& mainonta.

The appointment of the new CMM chairperson was made through an open application process, a first for the organization. The chair of the selection committee Arto Nieminen said that all 18 applicants were all of a high level of proficiency and evenly matched. The selection committee also included Jukka Holmberg of the Finnish Newspapers Association, Mikko Hoikka of the Finnish Periodical Publishers Association and Atte Jääskeläinen of the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

The CMM was established by media publishers and journalists to interpret good journalistic practice and to defend freedom of speech and publishing.