Hanne Aho: Great if bailout secures STT’s future

“If Finland didn’t have a national news agency we’d be an anomaly among enlightened countries” says UJF president Hanne Aho.

News is just in that the government has proposed giving STT the Finnish News Agency a one-off boost of €1,5 million to “safeguard news operations at a time of transformation”.

The 130-year-old news outlet has been shedding clients and its finances and the future of its news operations have been a source of concern for a while now. There have been fears that STT’s existence now hangs in the balance. The UJF has previously urged the government to come to the aid of the news agency.

Aho said that in addition to the bailout for STT, Finland needs to have a Nordic level sustained and equitable system of media support.

“It’d also be desirable if in future this sort of smart support wouldn’t be necessary. At the same time, it’s great to notice that the nature of STT’s transition is being picked up on. When we talk about the future of the media we talk a lot about what’s happening in the era of digital media. The government’s proposal reflects the way of thinking about change. But the changeover from print media to digital form will still take a while.”