News / 31.08.2015

Left-wing papers struggle for survival

Under increasing financial pressure, Finland’s left-wing papers are facing closures and cutbacks.

Kansan Tahto, published in North Finland, has cut its staff by four and will cease weekly publication early next year, and may close shop altogether.

The paper’s financial problems stem from the co-determination, or redundancy, negotiations, the Left Alliance had to start following its hammering in last spring’s parliamentary elections. The party’s management decided to stop subsidizing Kansan Tahto beginning 2016.

Other left papers to lose subsidies include Satakunnan Työ, published by the Kansan Uutiset company, and the Swedish language Ny Tid. Kansan Uutiset’s funding was reduced.

Sirpa Kovalainen, managing director of the Kansan Tahto publishing company hopes that ways will still be found to continue the paper. If this happens, the staff laid off will be reinstated.

“Support from the [Left Alliance] party made up 20 – 30 per cent of the paper’s budget”, said Kovalainen. “Without that we are running at a loss every week. We’re now trying to find new funding and solutions so that starting next year we could publish, say, special or monthly issues.”

Satakunnan Työ’s chief editor Sirpa Koskinen said that the paper’s two staff members had been laid off.

Kansan Uutiset won’t be publishing us from next year. We’re exploring our options for continuing the paper and looking for a new publisher.

Kansan Uutiset is publishing as normal despite the reduction in its subsidy. It’s weekly print magazine and online magazine will also continue to appear as before.

Ny Tid is also being published as usual and for now there are no plans for cutting the staff or making other reductions, despite the loss of funding from the Left Alliance. Chief editor Janne Wass said that the paper was looking for new sources of funding.

“We’re trying to recruit more subscribers, get more funds from the two foundations that support us and more members in our support organization Tigern r.f.” said Wass.

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